ITHACA, NY – On Tuesday, the Ithaca City School District Board of Education voted to enter into a contract with LaBella Associates, D.P.C., for the purposes of evaluating and managing the school’s water supply.

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The school district has been mostly silent on the lead issue since early March, when the the last set of lead testing results were revealed that 10 district schools exceeded the federal guidelines for lead contamination.

After soliciting proposals, the district has selected a contractor and is ready to proceed.

According to ICSD’s Chief Administration Officer David Brown, several companies applied for the contract, but LaBella was the only one that discussed not only to the testing procedures, but also how possible ways of mitigating the lead issue in the future.

Brown said that LaBella would begin working as soon as the language for the contract could be drawn up.

LaBella’s proposal outlines a list of seven services that the firm will provide for ICSD under the scope of the contract:

  1. Evaluate existing sampling and water quality monitoring data and determine which areas need to be resampled.
  2. Evaluate ICSD’s water delivery infrastructure to determine the nature and root cause of the any water quality problems.
  3. Work with the Tompkins County Health Department to prepare a report on options and recommendations for remediation.
  4. Act as a liaison between ICSD, Tompkins Health Department and any other involved party.
  5. Identify areas that need to be resampled and perform those tests based on federal guidelines and best practices, including taking into account ongoing discussions about possible changes to the Lead and Copper Rule that better reflect the lead risk.
  6. Develop procedures to ensure that future water tests are accurate.
  7. Maintain proper documentation.

LaBella also offered the possibility of assisting the district in planning and procurement of potential remediation options.

The cost of the contract is not to exceed $155,000.

(featured photo: Alex from Flickr)

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.