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Water testing underway in BC schools

Filed in Archive by on October 4, 2016

On Sept. 6, 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that requires public schools in New York to test all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes for lead levels. The new law makes New York the first state in the nation to require all of its public schools to conduct lead testing on all sources of potable water.

In accordance with the law, the district is in the process of conducting water testing at all buildings with the assistance of a state-approved laboratory. Sampling of water outlets at all five elementary schools was completed in September. These samples are to be tested for lead with results expected sometime in mid-October.

In the coming weeks, there will be sampling of water at both the middle school and high school. Testing results in those locations are expected to be returned in November. In all, Bethlehem is required to test 986 water outlets throughout the district.

In accordance with the new law, if the lead level from a water outlet exceeds the state’s action level of 15 parts per billion, the district will take immediate action. The state’s regulations require that all such outlets be taken offline, or otherwise restricted, until a remediation plan is implemented and further testing indicates that lead levels are below the action level. At that time, the identified outlets will be put back in service.

At all times, the district will ensure that all students and staff have an adequate supply of water for drinking and cooking.

The school district will notify staff, and all parents and guardians, of the results of these tests and they will be posted to the district website. This information will include any additional actions regarding water testing or remediation that may be necessary as we move forward.

For more information on New York’s new water testing law, view or download a fact sheet here. For specific questions related to Bethlehem Central’s water testing, please contact Gregg Nolte at