Please be assured that our school's water fountains are safe for drinking and the sinks used to prepare foods are safe. In addition, we will continue to monitor the water situation closely as the health and safety of your children and our staff are our paramount concerns.
As detailed in the DOE letter sent home last week, there were 8 water fixtures in 217 that indicated elevated lead levels during recent testing. Here is a breakdown of the 8 affected fixtures: 6 sinks are not used by students or staff, 1 sink is in a classroom and 1 handwashing sink is in the kitchen. All of these fixtures have been shut off.
In the classroom that had an affected fixture, we decided to proactively shut off the water fountain as well. All of our other water fountains have signs indicating that they are safe to drink from.
The DOE is addressing the plumbing fixtures and will follow up with testing. Both Jeff Atkinson, Custodian Engineer, and I are monitoring this and working with the DOE. The DOE’s testing protocol was created in partnership with City and State agencies. In any building where lead test results show even one water outlet above the action level of 15 parts per billion, the DOE implements its standard response protocol, which includes removing any drinking or cooking water fixture outlets with elevated levels from service, flushing all or part of the system to eliminate water sitting in pipes overnight, replacing equipment and re-testing after the equipment is replaced. The custodial staff will also continue to flush the P.S. 217 water systems on Monday mornings before school starts in order to eliminate water that has been stagnant in pipes over the weekend and to ensure safe drinking water is available for students and staff.
If you have additional questions I will be available at arrival.
-Mandana Beckman, Principal