Dear Parents and Staff:
The Health and Safety of students and staff at Menands Union Free School District is our number one priority. On September 6, 2016 Governor Cuomo signed legislation which requires all public schools in New York State to test all potable water sources for lead. The regulation requires public schools to conduct lead sampling every five years. For the 2020 round of sampling, Menands Union Free School District collected the water samples in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 3-T’s protocol.
View the complete 2020 Menands UFSD Water Testing Report.
On the morning of November 21, 2020 a total of 53 sources of water were collected and analyzed at the Adirondack Environmental Services, INC laboratory, which is certified by the New York State Department of Health. The district obtained results on January 12, 2021. All sources tested, except three were below the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New York State Department of Health Action Level for schools. The maximum contamination level (MCL) set by the EPA and NYSDOH is 15 parts per billion (ppb). Testing identified elevated lead levels at the following locations:
Location/Source | Lead Level – parts per billion (ppb)
- Girls Bathroom Main Lobby – Right Bathroom Sink | 15.6
- Boys Bathroom Main Lobby – Right Bathroom Sink | 26.7
- Boys Bathroom by Room 125 – Right Bathroom Sink | 23.0
Upon receiving the analytical results, the district took immediate action. All sinks were posted for hand washing use only as per guidance from the Department of Health. All identified sources of water will be remediated. Additionally the district contacted the New York State Department of Health and reported all the results obtained from the sampling.
While we know that this information may cause some concern, we are taking the necessary steps to address the situation and confirm the safety of water throughout the district. There is nothing that we take more seriously than the well-being of our students and staff.
We will keep you informed about this issue. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Superintendent of Schools
More information about laboratory results
If the results are at or above the EPA action level for a “first draw” sample, it probably represents the water which was sitting in the pipes overnight and the recommended action is to run the water until it is cold before use. If you have results from a “flush” sample, they are likely to represent what you would be drinking; the proper response to an elevated level in that case would be to identify and remove the lead source or treat the water.
How lead enters our water
Lead is unusual among drinking water contaminants in that it seldom occurs naturally in water supplies like groundwater, rivers and lakes. Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and in building plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass, and chrome-plated brass faucets. In 1986, Congress banned the use of lead solder containing greater than 0.2% lead, and restricted the lead content of faucets, pipes and other plumbing materials. However, even the lead in plumbing materials meeting these new requirements is subject to corrosion.
Lead in drinking water and your child
According to the EPA, lead in drinking water is rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning. The level in the faucet at Caroline Elementary School was well below the EPA action level after running for thirty seconds. The sample that was above this level was the first water to come out of the tap at the start of the day, after sitting overnight. Nearly all of the water that is used from this faucet comes out during the day after it has been running, which would minimize any exposure. However, parents who are concerned may wish to discuss this with their family physician.