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District conducting water quality tests in schools

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A letter from Superintendent Dr. William Silver:

This letter is being sent to inform you about recent water quality testing completed in the elementary and middle schools in the Liberty Central School District.

Tests conducted at Liberty Elementary School showed an elevated level of lead in water samples from five classrooms. We have not yet received the middle school’s results.

School officials received the LES water test results after school on Wednesday, Sept. 22 and the district took immediate action. All affected sources of water used for drinking were immediately turned off, and will remain turned off until lead levels are confirmed to be below the acceptable limit of 15 parts per billion. No lead was found in water samples from the school’s cafeteria or kitchen.

Follow-up testing is currently underway and those results are expected by late October. Any faucets, fitting or pipes that have been identified as a source of lead will be replaced.

As a precaution, all of the affected sinks have signs posted on them and all of the drinking fountains have been shut off. The district will collaborate with engineers and environmental specialists to determine next steps, which could include the replacement or remediation of water pipes and fixtures. As a follow-up, additional water tests will be conducted to determine if the replacement/remediation was successful.

The health and safety of students and staff is a top priority for the Liberty Board of Education and school administration. We will continue to test Liberty Middle/High School and will keep you updated as we learn more.

For more information about lead and water testing, please visit the district’s website, www.libertyk12.org.

This letter was mailed home to all parents on Friday, Sept. 30. A translated copy of the letter was also mailed home and is available here:

Additional resources

New state law means public schools will test for lead in water:

New York State Department of Health Regulations for new water testing law

New York State Department of Health:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Basic Information About Lead in Drinking Water

Governor Cuomo signs Landmark Legislation to Test Drinking Water for Lead Contamination, Press Release

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