Lead Testing Letter from March
Information on Brighton’s Voluntary Lead Testing Program (March 11, 2016)
Dear Members of the Brighton School Community,
I am writing to make you aware and provide information recently learned during the District’s routine environmental testing in our schools. This letter provides details of what was found; how the District is addressing it; and additional resources.
During the District’s routine environmental monitoring and testing of our schools and administrative buildings in December, we found slight elevations of lead in three water fountains and one faucet in three separate buildings – the Administration Building, Brighton High School, and Brookside, which is home to the Montessori School of Rochester. Our test results ranged from 20 parts per billion (ppb) up to 84 ppb on those devices vs the Federal guidelines of 15 ppb.
In response to these results, we promptly disconnected two of the water fountains, replaced the third, and replaced the faucet. We then completed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended action of running the water (flushing) for at least five minutes in each location. The testing conducted after these procedures determined that the replacement devices had brought lead levels back to meeting federal guidelines.
We also notified the State and Monroe County Departments of Health to seek their guidance on the steps we were taking to remedy the situation and discussed source water quality with the Monroe County Water Authority. These departments felt our approach was appropriate and we were assured of the safety of our regularly tested municipal water supply from the Water Authority.
Given this latest result, because the lead levels are low enough that common filtration devices could be applied as a remedy as per the EPA and because the levels seem to only be device specific, we installed new filtration devices. We added one at the high school and one at the Administration Building. This complements water filtration devices students already have access to at the high school. We also continued working with maintenance and Department of Health personnel to confirm the source of the higher levels.
Out of an abundance of caution, the District also took it upon itself to test other water faucets and water fountains throughout the District. Testing these additional devices took place between January 26, 2016 and February 12, 2016. Results showed varying levels of lead, most within Federal guidelines and others exceeding it. After completing the recommended flushing procedure, the results were reduced in most cases. In instances where levels weren’t reduced after the flush, the devices were taken offline or disconnected. The results were reduced in all devices except for eight devices out of the 238 we tested.
To fully and completely address these issues, the District hired an environmental consulting firm, which will be monitoring water quality and source water to the District’s buildings. The company, Leader Professional Services, is recognized in the field for its work with environmental monitoring and treating water. Leader Professional Services will be testing every water outlet in the District and ascertaining what, if any, additional remedial measures need to be taken.
In all of our work, the District has been in constant contact with the Monroe County Department of Public Health. They have indicated that the protocols we are following in regard to the testing, flushing, and replacement of faucets are prudent and reasonable. The District has also consulted routinely with our school physicians who have been helpful by making additional suggestions.
The District has and continues to consult with the Monroe County and State Departments of Health to ensure we are doing everything necessary to address this matter. The District is continuing its routine monitoring, but also increasing it throughout 2016 as just explained.
We are notifying you of the water testing findings, status of our investigation, and ongoing monitoring and will continue to do so. We have notified staff members of fixtures that should not be used for drinking water and will be posting reminders by those fixtures. We are working to make bottle fill stations accessible near any device that tested high.
While we have no indication that what we are experiencing is cause for concern, we want you to be fully apprised of all aspects of this issue, how it is being addressed, and recommendations from the Department of Health and EPA.
The New York State Department of Health and the Monroe County Department of Public Health do not think the school drinking water is a significant source of lead. However, out of an abundance of caution, if you have any concerns about your child and lead exposure, we encourage you to discuss the matter with your primary care physician or health care provider.
I will continue to update you on the progress of our testing and results. Additional information on the District monitoring can also be found on our website: www.bcsd.org. At the end of this letter, we have provided a few non-District resources should you be interested in additional background information. These resources have been reviewed and endorsed by our school physicians: Dr.’s Carl and Cynthia Devore and Dr. Dan Yawman.
The District has and continues to be vigilant with our testing for environmental concerns and is committed to sharing our findings and taking whatever corrective action is advised.
Feel free to call my office directly with any questions.
Kevin McGowan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
AAP Healthy Children:
Lead home page:
Lead in drinking water:
National Institute Environmental Health Sciences: