Photo courtesy of NYS Senate
In September, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law requiring public schools in New York to test all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes for lead levels. New York is now the first state in the nation to require all of its public schools to conduct lead testing on all sources of potable water.
In accordance with the law, the Bethlehem Central School District is in the process of conducting water testing at all buildings with the assistance of a state-approved laboratory. Sampling at all five elementary schools was completed in September, with results expected sometime in mid-October. Sampling of water at both the middle school and high school will occur over the coming week, according to the district. Testing results in those locations are expected to be returned in November. In all, Bethlehem will have tested 986 water outlets throughout the district.
Per the new law, if lead levels from any water outlet exceed the state’s action level of 15 parts per billion, the district must take immediate action. The regulations require that all such outlets be restricted from use until a remediation plan is implemented and further tests show that lead levels are below the action level.
At all times, the district said it will ensure that all students and staff have an adequate supply of water for drinking and cooking. It will also notify staff, and all parents and guardians of the test results, which will also be posted on the district website. This information will include any additional actions regarding water testing or remediation that may be necessary as BCSD moves forward.
For more information on New York’s new water testing law, view or download a fact sheet here. For specific questions related to Bethlehem Central’s water testing, the public is asked to contact Gregg Nolte at email@example.com.