COLONIE – So far, testing has shown 26 sources of water across the South Colonie School District have unacceptable levels of lead, according to the district website.
School districts across the state have been testing all sources of water for lead as per a state mandate signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month. The state deems any water source – sinks and/or drinking fountains – with a lead content more than 15 parts per billion to require remediation.
Districts have been shutting off sinks that show elevated levels of lead or restricting their use to just hand washing.
Locally, Bethlehem, Vorheesville and Shenendehowa have also found sources of water with unacceptable levels of lead.
In Colonie, the district measured lead in milligrams per liter. A lead content of .015 mg/L equals 15 ppb.
Of the 65 samples taken at the Veeder Elementary School 10 had elevated levels of lead:
-Sink in Room 1: .027 mg/L
-Sink in Room 2: .026 mg/L
-Sink in Room 3: .025 mg/L
-Sink in Room 4: .025 mg/L
-Sink in Room 5: .026 mg/L
-Second sink in Room 5: .020 mg/L
-Sink in Room 7: .022 mg/L
-Sink in Room 9: .022 mg/L
-Sink in Room 10: .018 mg/L
-Sink in Room 14: .021 mg/L
Sixty samples were taken from the Forest Park Elementary School and six were above the allowable level of .015 mg/L or 15 ppb.:
-Sink in Room 21: .026 mg/L
-The library staff sink: .019 mg/L
-Sink in Room 18: .018 mg/L
-Sink in Room 9: .033 mg/L
-Girls bathroom sink in the second grade hallway: .016 mg/L
-Girls bathroom sink in the third grade hallway: .018 mg/L
At the Roessleville Elementary School 43 samples were taken and seven were above the allowable level:
-Sink in Room 213: .016 mg/L
-Sink in Room 211: .019 mg/L
-Sink in Room 210: .017 mg/L
-Sink in Room 105: .020 mg/L
-Sink in Room 105A: .018 mg/L
-Sink in Room 204: .016 mg/L
-Sink in Room 203: .016 mg/L
Of the 56 samples taken from water sources at the Lisha Kill Middle School, three had elevated levels of lead:
-Sink in boys locker room: .078 mg/L
-Sink in upstairs boys large bathroom: .018 mg/L
-Sink in girls coaches office: .120 mg/L
Fifty-five samples were taken from the Saddlewood Elementary School and 42 from Shaker Elementary School and none showed elevated levels of lead.
“The district has immediately shut off water to the affected sources listed above and will be taking remedial steps pending another water quality test,” according to a letter to parents from the district. “As a follow-up, additional water tests will be conducted to ensure the remediation was successful before placing the sinks back in service for students and staff members.”
Testing is continuing at districts across the state including South Colonie.
Lead can cause a number of health issues including developmental delays, learning difficulties, irritability and vomiting. The Environmental Protection Agency, however, says lead in drinking water is rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning. For more information about lead levels in drinking water, visit the EPA website.