Drinking Water Test Results Letter from Superintendent Palmer

  • November 15, 2016

    Dear Parents and School Community,

    On September 6, 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (A.10740/S.8158) requiring all school districts and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) in New York State to test potable water systems for lead contamination and to take responsive actions. To implement this new law, the Department of Health issued emergency regulations, titled Lead Testing in School Drinking Water -10 NYCRR Subpart 67-4 (Subpart 67- 4), effective September 6, 2016.

    The Tri-Valley Central School District met its obligation and tested all potable water systems in both the Elementary and Secondary Schools by the deadlines set forth of September 30th for the Elementary School and October 31st for the Secondary School. The issue was the number of tests that had to be conducted in a small window of time and the testing labs were backed up and districts, including Tri-Valley, have not received all of their results.

    We received notification of the testing results for the Elementary School and found that approximately 87 of the 166 samples were found with lead levels exceeding 15 ppb (parts per billion) which is the New York State Department of Health maximum contaminant level.

    While most of the positive testing samples were in sinks, some were found in classroom drinking fountains and hallway fountains in the Elementary School.  We immediately shut off the water supply and have been providing water coolers and fresh water supply until we can retest.

    What we found was that that the lead source is coming from the old fixtures and not from our water source, so we will be remediating all of the fixtures by replacing both water fountain fixtures and sink faucets.  Once these are replaced, they will be retested.  During this process, the district will turn on the water in the classrooms with sinks so students can wash their hands.  This is permissible, but we will also post signs at all sinks, that tell students not to drink the water from the sink.

    I will keep you posted as we find out the results of the Secondary School and the retesting in the Elementary School.

    Please contact me if you have any questions.


    Thomas W. Palmer
    Superintendent of Schools