Water Quality Testing

In the spring and summer of 2016, drinking fountains and kitchen sinks used for food preparation throughout the district were tested for lead. Three sources across the district exceeded the action level of 15 parts per billion and were remediated, re-tested, and are back in service.

In September of 2016, a new state law went into effect requiring testing of all school sources of water that are “currently used or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes.” The district took the additional step of testing all bathroom and classroom sinks and outdoor hose fixtures. Sampling took place at the elementary schools in September and at the middle schools and high school in October.

Regulations call for samples to be sent to state-approved facilities for analysis and for testing to take place again in 2020 and every five years thereafter, unless the state Commissioner of Health requires testing sooner.

School districts are required to report the results of all water testing to the state Department of Health, the state Education Department and the local health department, and to post the results – along with remediation plans, if required – on the official district website. The district’s results are below. At this time, we have received the results for the fall 2016 testing and are planning to replace the fixtures with results above the state action level and re-test.

Water Testing Results for 2016

If you are having trouble accessing any of the above files, please contact the district’s Communications Office at (518) 377-4666, ext. 50707 or communications@niskyschools.org and arrangements will be made to provide you with an electronic or hard copy of the desired document.

Action Level and Remediation Plans

The state established a lead action level of 15 parts per billion (also referred to as micrograms of lead per liter). If a sample from a water outlet exceeds this level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of the outlet for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated and follow-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level.

Niskayuna Remediation Actions

  • Two kitchen faucets at Glencliff: These initially exceeded the action level in samples taken in April and May 2016. The fixtures were replaced and supply lines were replaced with plastic piping and they subsequently tested below the action level.
  • Kitchen faucet in a faculty area in the Student Support Services Office at Niskayuna High School. This initially exceeded the action level. Plastic supply lines were installed and it subsequently tested below the action level.
  • The results received for the fall of 2016 testing of primarily exterior house outlets, bathroom sinks and science lab sinks indicated elevated levels for the following number of fixtures by school: Birchwood (8); Craig (3); Glencliff (4); Hillside (2); Rosendale (3) Iroquois (14); Van Antwerp (5); and Niskayuna High School (4). Signs were posted at each of these locations indicating that the water should not be used for drinking. These signs will remain in place until these outlets can be remediated and re-tested. The fixtures will be replaced and the outlets will be re-tested.

Lead-free buildings

Lead-free, as defined by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, is based on the lead content of plumbing materials. Federal laws enacted in 1986, and updated in 2011, limit the amount of lead that can be used in new plumbing and fixtures. A building can be deemed lead-free if it was built after Jan. 4, 2014, or a New York State licensed Professional Engineer or Architect certifies it to be lead-free. Under New York’s new law, school districts are not required to conduct water testing in buildings designated as lead-free. The district has no buildings designated as lead-free, as defined by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

A resource for more information about lead in drinking water

More information and links to additional resources can be found on the EPA website under “Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water”.