Creative Commons by Flickr user faungg.

ITHACA, NY — According to the latest test results, lead levels are still coming back elevated in Ithaca City School District.

The most recent results were from samplings taken in late 2016.

Ithaca High School sent notification to parents today with a link to the results, which denotes the 14 locations within Ithaca High School buildings that had lead levels higher than 15 ppb, the Environmental Protection Agency’s action level.

These results highlight two different measurements from October: a first draw, when elevated lead levels are typically detected, and following a 30 second flush of the water, after which levels are usually lower.

Since elevated lead levels were detected last year, the school has provided alternate water sources for students and staff: five gallon water towers from certified sources.

Last year,  New York State passed a bill requiring all schools to test for lead by October 31st, and report the results to parents, the state Department of Health, and local government officials.

This influx of results from all over the state may have caused a time delay between testing and the District receiving results, the IHS’ letter suggested.

“The results have been verified with the Tompkins County Health Department,” the letter stated. “That is creating a backlog of results since all schools in the state now have to test their water.”

According to the letter, the school is continuing to work with an engineering firm, LaBella Engineering, to address the problematic fixtures.

Last month, Enfield Elementary School also sent out a fact sheet to parents regarding a classroom and art room sink that both tested higher than 15 ppb in December 2016. Due to previously found elevated levels, Enfield has been and will continue to test for lead every six months.

They are also continuing to provide certified water, and are awaiting additional test results conducted by the Governor’s Lead Testing in School Drinking Water Regulation.

This is a developing story.

Jennifer Wholey

Jennifer Wholey is a feature writer and Head of Dining Partnerships for the Ithaca Voice. Contact her at jwholey@ithacavoice.com.