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Tests Find Elevated Lead Levels In Water At Nanuet Schools

Elevated lead levels were in the water of several sinks at Nanuet High School after the school district underwent voluntary testing. Lead levels did not exceed federal guidelines in any of the school's drinking fountains.
Elevated lead levels were in the water of several sinks at Nanuet High School after the school district underwent voluntary testing. Lead levels did not exceed federal guidelines in any of the school's drinking fountains. Photo Credit: Nanuet High School on Facebook

NANUET, N.Y. -- High lead levels were found in nine sinks at Nanuet schools, but tests showed no such contamination in any drinking fountains, according to a report by Schools Superintendent Mark S. McNeill.

The schools’ chief posted an update on the district’s website Thursday informing parents and staff that testing at four buildings had been completed with the assistance of Rockland BOCES Health and Safety.

According to McNeill, 93 percent of the water samples came back within federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

Samples from four sinks at the high school exceeded EPA limits, however, McNeill said. They were located in a home economics classroom, the teacher’s lounge, and English and science department offices.

McNeill said the district plans to replace the aerators on those sinks.

If lead levels still exceed EPA guidelines after the system is flushed, the district will make further fixes, the superintendent said.

At the Middle School, a pipe on an intake valve went over the limit.

However, he said, the pipe does not carry water into the building.

The district still plans to conduct more tests and will make any necessary repairs, he said.

Of the 75 samples taken at the Highview Elementary School and the George W. Miller Elementary School, five had results above the 20 parts per billion allowed by the EPA.

Implicated were the kitchen pot filler and a classroom sink at Highview.

At Miller, sources testing above allowable levels included a kitchen pot filler and two classroom sinks.

All of the sinks have been turned off until the source of the lead can be determined, McNeill said.

The pot filler at Miller is used about once a week.

Its aerators will be removed and the systems flushed for 30 seconds so further tests can be conducted.

Water was also tested at the Nanuet Public Library and none of the samples came back with elevated lead levels, McNeill said.

Other school districts in Rockland County, such as Clarkstown and East Ramapo, have undertaken voluntary testing in the wake of revelations that drinking water in schools in Newark, N.J., had been known to contain lead for six years before data was released to the public this spring.

For more information about EPA guidelines for lead in schools, click here.

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