Letter from the OESJ school district about lead in water testing

October 11, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On Friday October 7, 2016, the OESJ School District received the results of our lead in water testing for the elementary school that was conducted on September 19, 2016.  In compliance with new state law we drew water samples from every faucet/spigot in the building to test for lead levels.  Of the eighty eight taps sampled, seventeen tested higher than NYS law allows for lead.  Armed with this information, our staff quickly bagged the faucets in question, placed signage on them and turned the water off to all seventeen locations.

It is important to note that none of the taps that tested high for lead are used for drinking water by students and staff.  Four faucets were in classroom bathrooms used for handwashing and two faucets in the kitchen area that tested high are used for handwashing only as well.  The remaining eleven taps were in the 6th grade wing, and these are not used for drinking water either.    These faucets are seldom used, as those classrooms were once part of a science wing when the school housed a K-12 student population.

Regardless what the faucets are used for, or how seldom they are used, we are following all state guidelines regarding the matter. We have taken the faucets out of service and protocol is to retest those affected taps.  It is very possible that many of these taps tested high for lead because they are used so infrequently.

Please know the safety and health of our students and staff is our highest priority and we will work diligently to rectify every faucet that is out of compliance.   In the meantime, all students will be afforded the opportunity to wash their hands in faucets that have tested in the normal range.   We have also tested the DH Robbins building, but have yet to receive the results and we will also be testing the Jr/Sr building by the end of this month.

All school districts in our region are undergoing the same testing in compliance with the new regulation, and they are having experiences similar to us. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact my office at (518) 568-2011 or email me at david.halloran@oesj.org.

David Halloran Superintendent of Schools