NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- New Rochelle Schools Facilities Manager Carl Thurnau made a presentation on the new lead-testing law to the District-Wide Health and Safety Committee.
On September 06, 2016, Gov. Cuomo signed legislation requiring that school districts test their water for lead.
The powerpoint presentation, based on a boilerplate presentation from Louis Berger, the District’s water testing company, can be viewed here:
There are a few elements to the new law that represents challenges for the District which has been proactive in lead-water testing.
First, the law requires that any potential sources of drinking water be tested not just sinks and water fountains so there is a need to do some additional testing at the elementary schools by the end of September and then complete the middle schools and high school by the end of October (the law requires elementary schools be done by 9/30 and secondary schools by 10/31).
Second, the law requires only first-draw testing and no 30-second tests
Third, the law requires the lower 15 ppb limit not 20 ppb.
These last two are a big deal because the district did not count any water sources as exceeding the limit if the subsequent 30-second draw was below the limit. Many water sources that were considered to have “passed” will now be deemed to have exceeded the 15 ppb limit given the first-draw results and thus have "failed" (there were a small handful where the 30-second draw was higher but mostly it was the first-draw samples that were higher). The previous reports for all elementary schools will now have to be redone, new reports made, new communication sent to parents to correct the record — and the results will certainly be worse than originally reported due to the more stringent criteria for a “fail”.
That said, these "corrections" are necessary only because the District was proactive in the first place (very few school districts are as far along as New Rochelle in this regard).
If you would like to read more on the work of the Health and Safety RESCUE committee visit here: OP-ED: Six Month Review of New Rochelle District-Wide Health and Safety Committee
If you would like official information visit here: www.nred.org/RESCUE.