ENFIELD, N.Y. — Drinking fountains at Enfield Elementry School tested positive for lead well above what’s considered the “action level” by the Tompkins County Health Department, according to information released to parents this week.

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The first tests were done in August 2015 when the drinking fountains were not being used. Three of five tested positive for high levels of  lead.

The Tompkins County Health Department stated in a letter that lead is permitted at 15 parts per billion in water supplies. One drinking fountain topped out at 640 parts per billion.

A more recent test done in 2016 showed that one of the same five fountains tested positive for lead again in January. It tested at 16 parts per billion.

The August test results likely resulted from lead in pipes absorbing into the water. The occurrence happens when water in pipes is not used for “many days,” the health department said. Samples taken in January were considered “representative of normal conditions when water is being used on a more regular basis.”

The public must be informed of high lead in the water supply when 10 percent or more of samples taken exceed 15 parts per billion.

The tests results can be seen in the photo below:

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A meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Enfield Elementary School, to address concerns from parents, according to a letter sent to them by the Ithaca City School District.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.