Dear Families and Staff:
As a follow up to our communications earlier this year, I would like to provide you an
update on the ongoing measures at the NYC Department of Education (DOE) to ensure that
the water in our schools is safe for students and staff.
First and foremost, New York City water is safe and families and staff should rest assured
that our drinking water is of the highest quality in the world. The water in every NYC public
school was tested for lead in 2016 and the vast majority of test results were not elevated.
Those outlets that exceeded the action level for lead were immediately taken out of
service, remediated and not placed back into service until the outlet re-tested below the
action level. This work was done in close partnership with City and State agencies, using a
protocol developed in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency.
This fall, the State issued new regulations on testing water for lead in schools. To ensure
that we continue to exceed requirements, the DOE, in partnership with the State
Department of Health and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has
updated its protocol for lead testing of drinking water in school buildings. Additionally, we
are updating the letters we send to families and school staff to include more detail on our
rigorous testing process and results so all communities have detailed information.
Providing you with comprehensive information that is easily accessible on the DOE website
is key to our partnership with you.
Out of an abundance of caution and because ensuring the safety of our students and staff
is our top priority, the DOE will retest all school buildings based on the new protocol this
winter. In any building where test results show even one water outlet above the action
level, the DOE will implement its standard response protocol, under which we remove any
such outlet from service, flush all or part of the system to eliminate water sitting in pipes
overnight, replaces equipment and re-tests after the equipment is replaced.
Please visit http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/schools/watersafety.htm to learn more about
the robust protocol we use to ensure the safety of drinking water in each and every school,
as well as to look up water test results for your child’s school.
We thank you for your partnership in delivering a high-quality education to all school
children across the City.
Elizabeth A. Rose
Elizabeth A. Rose
Division of Operations
52 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007
212 374 7868 Tel
212 374 5588 Fax