NEWFIELD, NY – Test results recently released by Newfield Central School District show high lead levels in three of the district’s water sources.

Following the revelation of high lead levels in the water of several schools in the Ithaca City School District, that has lead to a great deal of public outcry and proposed legislation, other area schools decided to test their water as well.

In Newfield, the tests were performed by TST BOCES on 72 fixtures in May and the results released last week.

Fortunately, the three results that exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) were from fixtures that students do not regularly drink from, according to a report from the Ithaca Journal.

A majority of tested fixtures had undetectable levels of lead, likely due to the fact that Newfield’s plumbing was made after the 1986 ban on lead materials.

Two prep sink faucets in a concession area Field House showed lead concentrations of 22 and 18 ppb, and a nearby water hydrant by the district’s playing fields showed a concentration of 45 ppb.

Newfield Superintendent Cheryl Thomas told the Ithaca Journal that athletes do sometimes use the hydrant to fill their water coolers, and the Field House sinks are used to wash dishes.

Follow-up testing will be performed to ascertain if the contamination is due to fixture or piping debris. Once that is discovered, corrective action can be taken as needed.

In the meantime, TST BOCES has recommended that the affected fixtures be taken out of service as sources of drinking water.

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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 msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.