To protect public health, Public Health Law and New York State Health Department (NYSDOH) regulations require that all public schools and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) test lead levels in water from every outlet that is being used, or could potentially be used, for drinking or cooking. If lead is found at any water outlet at levels above 5 parts per billion (ppb), which is equal to 5 micrograms per liter (ug/L), the NYSDOH requires that the school take action to reduce the exposure to lead. On January 14th, 2024, all of the Fort Edward Union Free School District’s water outlets were tested for lead as per New York State Health regulations.
As a result of this testing, we have discovered that two sinks in our learning kitchen located on the second floor of our high school have lead levels that exceed 5 parts per billion. Those outlets have been taken out of service, and signage has been posted on those sinks. The sinks were mainly used for handwashing and dishwashing, not drinking.
We will be working with our building maintenance staff and school contractors on a plan to rectify the issue with the two sinks. We will communicate our progress and subsequent correction plan through our website and social media outlets once it is finalized.
While we know that this information may cause you some concern, we are taking the necessary steps to address the situation and confirm the safety of water throughout the school. There is nothing that we take more seriously than the well-being of our students and staff. Again, we will provide more information when it becomes available. Please contact me at any time if you have any questions.
Richard R. DeMallie, Ed. D. Superintendent of Schools Fort Edward Union Free School District