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Facilities Planning

Lead and Copper Rule


The New York State Health Department has adopted regulations requiring public water suppliers, including school districts, to monitor for lead and copper in their water systems. This is to comply with the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

The monitoring period was effective July 1, 1992, for school facilities that provide water to more than 3300 persons, and will begin July 1, 1993, for districts that provide water to less than 3300 persons. The initial monitoring period requires 6 months of periodic testing. The frequency of monitoring and number of sites per location required to be tested depends on population size and levels of lead and copper detected in the initial samples. If the level of lead exceeds 15 parts per billion or 1.3 parts per million for copper in more than 10% of the samples, the school district is required to take action to reduce the level of lead and copper. Such actions may include a review of methods of water usage, a study of water treatment, treatment of source water, replacement of lead service piping, and extended monitoring.

This testing for lead and copper is in addition to the periodic water quality testing presently required by the NYS Health Department.

Each school that has its own source of water supply (i.e., is not on a municipal system) is considered a public water supply as defined by Part 5 of the State Sanitary Code. Each such school should contact their local Health Department office for additional information regarding specific circumstances that apply to the district.