January 28, 2022
Dear New Lebanon Families,
The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) has adopted a drinking water regulation that requires all public water systems to test for PFOS. The US Environmental Protection Agency Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL) for PFOAs are 70 parts per trillion. New York State has set a more stringent limit of 10 parts per trillion. In NY, if levels are found above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 ppt, the water supplier must take steps to lower the level to meet the standard.
Recent test results found the chemical perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in the drinking water at New Lebanon Jr./Sr. High School was at 11 ppt. This is above New York State’s MCL of 10 ppt for PFOS in public drinking water systems. No reportable conditions of PFOS have been detected at the Walter B. Howard Elementary Schools
New Lebanon High School is working with the Columbia County and New York State Departments of Health on a compliance schedule that includes steps to reduce the levels of PFOS.
The district will be setting up several water drinking stations around the Jr./Sr. High School as well as posting signs on each water source reporting that the water is not drinkable. The Jr/Sr. High School kitchen staff will be cooking using a different water source. Our current water source is safe to wash hands, dishes, etc.
Our district will be working with the State Education Department, architects, and engineers to install a water filtration system on our well that will remedy the problem. Additional information will be shared as further testing and progress occurs. This process is similar for any chemical detected in public drinking water that requires mitigation due to exceedance of an MCL. The compliance timetable will ensure that the district’s drinking water will meet the MCL standards as rapidly as possible.