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Water testing at FMS

The following is a letter from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles:

November 1, 2016

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s):    

As you may be aware, on September 6, 2016, Governor 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.

In accordance with the law, the Guilderland Central School District conducted water testing at all buildings.  The district chose to use an environmental services firm, C.T. Male Associates, who collected the samples and sent them to be analyzed by a state-approved laboratory.  Sampling of water outlets at the middle school was completed in September.

Yesterday afternoon, the district received the middle school’s water testing results, which includes 95 outlets throughout the building with readings above the action level (15 parts per billion). The majority of outlets exceeding the threshold are science lab sinks, as well as seven outlets used for drinking and cooking:

Four sinks in Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) classrooms
One drinking fountain
Two steaming kettles (a piece of kitchen equipment that cooks large quantities of food using steam heat), which have not been used during the 2016-2017 school year

As of today, November 1, all outlets exceeding the action level have been taken offline (covered so they cannot be used) or are in the process of being labeled for hand washing only. These outlets will not be used for drinking or cooking until follow-up test results indicate that lead levels are at or below the action level.

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

Under the guidance of the Department of Health, the district will work with its consultants to develop a remediation plan to address identified outlets.

The district has recently posted the water testing results for Farnsworth Middle School as well as additional information about New York's new water testing law on its website:  We will keep you updated throughout this process.

If you have additional questions or concerns related to water testing, please contact your principal, Mr. Laster, or me.

Marie Wiles, Ph.D.