District initiates water quality testing

on August 29, 2016

Water quality testing was recently completed in all schools in the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District. Tests indicated that water from water fountains in all buildings is safe for consumption.

Overall, the results give the district confidence in the water that is used in our schools every day. However, some issues were identified in art room, science and music sinks in the M-W Middle School. These sinks are used for cleaning art supplies and instruments and during lab work. Students and staff do not use these sinks for drinking purposes.

Heightened awareness of the issue of water quality in the state and around the country prompted the district to conduct the tests. The identification of elevated levels of lead is based on a threshold established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While we conduct further testing to identify where the lead is coming from, we do know it is not from the water itself, as all public water is subject to regular water quality testing. According to the EPA, lead enters drinking water primarily from eroding materials that contain lead, including faucets, fittings and pipes.

School officials conducted a first round of testing in buildings in mid-May, and then initiated a second round of testing to those areas in the middle school that indicated elevated levels of lead. Test results received on August 12 show there is still elevated levels in these locations. All affected sources of water at these areas have been turned off and will remain unavailable for use until parts can be replaced and lead levels can be retested.

The district is pleased that the complete results showed no issues in the overwhelming majority of water outlets, including all water fountains, kitchens, and nurses’ offices used by students on a regular basis. Please be assured the district is taking the necessary steps to address the situation and to ensure the safety of our drinking water is maintained throughout the district.