Questions & Answers
LEAD IN DRINKING WATER
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring metal that if is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. It can be found in air, soil, dust, and water
- How does lead get into my drinking water?
Lead is rarely found naturally in our source water like ground water, rivers, and lakes or in the treated water flowing through the distribution system. It more commonly get sin to water over time through corrosion from pipes, solder, fixtures, brass valves, and fittings.
Sediments containing lead may also collect in sections of pipe or behind screens. This can occur during initial construction of the plumbing system, during repair and installation of new fixtures or when plumbing is otherwise disturbed.
How is our local water system
protected from getting lead?
Our local water treatment plant adds a non-harmful chemical, orthophosphate, that forms a coating on the pipes and prevents lead from leaching out of pipes and contaminating our water.
Our local water treatment plant adds a non-harmful chemical, orthophosphate, that forms a coating on the pipes and prevents lead from leaching out of pipes and contaminating our water
- Why are we testing the drinking water
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires our public water system to provide water to our school that is minimally corrosive. The EPA has determined that lead in drinking water is a health concern at certain levels of exposure, especially for young children. The New York State Health Department requires us to provide safe drinking to our students and staff in our schools.
What are the guidelines/regulations
for lead testing of drinking water in schools (New York State)?
All public schools must sample all water faucets and fountains used for drinking and consumption (and retest every five years), a certified laboratory must test for lead, the results must be reported, and if any results are above the action level, the school community must be notified
- What is the action level for lead in
The action level is the level that the Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Health have determined has the potential for harm and requires some steps to correct that action. The action level for lead in drinking water is any result greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb) or 15 micrograms per liter (mcg/l)
If the outlet is lead free, why do we
get elevated lead levels in the water
Even if there are new outlets installed that are considered lead-free, lead may still get into the water from plumbing surrounding the fixtures and from sediment that may collect in pipes, fixtures, and behind screens, especially in fountains and faucets where there is low flow or not used very much.
- What is lead?