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New Rochelle Elementary School Drinking Water Tests Positive for High Lead Content, up to 47 Times EPA Limit

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New Rochelle Elementary School Drinking Water Tests Positive for High Lead Content, up to 47 Times EPA Limit

May 03, 2016 - 14:16
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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Water testing results made public by the New Rochelle School District’s Health & Safety Committee this morning indicate dangerous levels of lead in drinking water at the George M. Davis Elementary School, according to a recent report. The report was prepared by Louis Berger, a one billion dollar global professional services corporation, with over 6,000 engineers, economists, scientists, managers and planners, specializes in infrastructure and development projects.

The highest reading was 701, or 47 times greater than the EPA threshold level for lead at 15 parts per billion.

The water in the City School District of New Rochelle has never been tested before so there is no way to know how long students and staff have been ingesting water with elevated levels of lead.

The eight locations that exceeded the EPA action level were: the drinking fountain on ground level near the stage door, the drinking fountain outside the general office, and sink fountains inside

Rooms 1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 10.

The full report is here: Davis Drinking Water Test Results — April 2016.

The information was provided to the district in a letter sent via email dated April 22nd. Despite this, the information was not distributed to the District-Wide Health & Safety Committee until May 3.

A letter was sent to Davis parents on April 29 by school principal Michael Galland. The letter is fundamentally misleading — seeking to downplay the test result, not providing the actual numbers and claiming that the report was not received until vacation week. In fact, the water was analyzed on April 15 and sent to the district a week later.

The testing was undertaken in response to public concerns raised in early March by the revelation of elevated levels of lead in drinking water in the Newark, NJ school system. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Data released data for Newark school showing high levels of lead at every school.

The City School District of New Rochelle hired a company to conduct testing of drinking water for all schools in the district on March 23 and March 29, 2016.

The results at Davis were comparable to the samples taken from across the Newark school district.

Newark results were based on 4 samples taken at each of 30 schools or 120 samples of which 55 samples tested above 15 ppb or about 46%

New Rochelle results were based on 3 samples at 11 schools or 33 samples of which 1 sample tested above 15 ppb or about 3% which then triggered additional testing at Davis where 38 samples were taken at 8 tested above 15 ppb or about 21%

40 ppb is considered an “imminent risk” to pregnant women and young children.  At Newark, 18 of of the 55 samples above 15 ppb were above 40 ppb or about 33%. At Davis, 4 of the 8 samples above 15 ppb were above 40 ppb or about 50%.

At Newark, 12 of the 55 samples above 15 ppb were above 100 ppb or about 22%. At Davis, 3 of the 8 samples above 15 ppb were above 100 ppb or about 38%.

The highest reading at Newark was 558 or 37 times greater than the EPA threshold of 15 ppb. The highest reading at Davis was 701 or 47 times greater than the EPA threshold of 15 ppb.