Sep 03, 2019

35 Staten Island, N.Y., Schools Find Elevated Lead Levels

The total fixtures tested in Staten Island schools with elevated lead levels in drinking water is 4%

Staten Island schools find elevated levels of lead in drinking water at 35 schools

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) released a report detailing the results of water quality testing in 44 Staten Island schools. Overall, the report found more than 170 water fixtures in 35 schools out of 4,446 fixtures in 44 schools had elevated lead levels in 2018, according to Staten Island Live

The report represents water quality testing conducted between September to December 2018 and the results indicated 4% of all water fixtures tested had lead contamination above the U.S. EPA action level of 15 ppb. The DOE has taken immediate action to remediate all 171 water fixtures where lead contamination above the EPA action level was found. The water fixtures included those in kitchens, bathrooms, locker rooms and classrooms, and ranged from ice makers, cold water faucets, water bottle filters, slop sinks and bubblers, reported Staten Island Live

“New York City tap water is of the highest quality, and 96% of fixtures on Staten Island initially tested within state standard, and all others have since been successfully remediated,” said Miranda Barbot, a spokeswoman for DOE. “Our schools are safe, and we have strict standards to test all fixtures and address any concerns in our buildings.”

DOE has taken steps towards remediation on all Staten Island schools water fixtures where lead in drinking water was discovered. These steps include replacing fixtures and piping, and flushing weekly fixtures that have elevated levels of lead contamination. The agency also takes the first draw of sample after at least eight hours of stagnation for their testing protocol. 

According to Staten Island Live, DOE notified families in 2018 of the scheduled testing and the test results through letters and lab results both mailed to families and posted on school websites. The DOE also coincided its water quality testing campaign with a separate report assessing lead-based paint in school classrooms, particularly in classrooms impacting children under the age of 6, reported The Patch.

View the full list of schools where lead contamination was discovered and remediated.

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