October 11, 2022
Dear Cairo-Durham Parents/Guardians,
The Cairo-Durham Central School District is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students, teachers and staff, as that serves as our top priority within our school district.
As part of the district’s safety and health program and New York State Education Department mandates, the district conducts bi-annual lead and copper water testing within the district’s facilities. These tests were performed to determine whether amounts of lead and copper above legal limits exist in our water supply.
In addition, the district was recently notified that a monthly coliform bacteria sample was not collected for April 2022, forcing the issuance of a formal Notice of Violation by the New York State Department of Health.
We are required to monitor your drinking water for specific contaminants on a regular basis.
Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not our drinking water meets health standards. During the time period of April 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022, we did not test for coliform bacteria and therefore cannot be sure of the quality of our drinking water during that time.
What should I do?
There is nothing you need to do at this time.
The table below lists the contaminant(s) we did not properly test for during the last year, how often we are supposed to sample for [this contaminant/these contaminants] and how many samples we are supposed to take, how many samples we took, when samples should have been taken, and the date on which follow-up samples were (or will be) taken.
Contaminant: Coliform Bacteria.
Required Sampling Frequency: 1 Sample Every Month.
Number of Samples Taken: 0.
When Samples Should Have Been Taken: April 2022.
When Samples Were Taken: N/A.
We conducted tests on copper and lead levels and would like to share the results that we have obtained from your child’s schools. The State received 20 samples conducted on March 18, 2022 and reported our lead 90th percentile result was 1.6 ug/l (micrograms per liter) (the action level for lead is 0.015 mg/l or 15 ug/) and the copper 90th percentile result was 167 ug/l (the action level for copper is 1.3 mg/l or 1,300 ug/l), therefore the water system was in compliance with the lead and copper drinking water standards.
The district was informed one lead sample had exceeded the lead action level of 15 ug/l. This sample location was listed as “WF6G Water Fountain 6 Grade” and the lead result was reported as 35.4 ug/l.
The State also received results of a second sample collected from “Water Fountain 6 Grade” which was collected on March 30, 2022 that showed both lead and copper levels in this sample that exceed the action levels. In this sample, lead was reported as 0.239 mg/l (exceeds 0.015 mg/l) and copper was reported as 1.44 mg/l (exceeds 1.3 mg/l).
What is being done?
The missed coliform bacteria testing, while disappointing, is not a reflection of the consistent testing and reporting that is done monthly. We as a district take accountability for the mistake and will do our best to limit occurrences like this again, as we have been steady in our testing since April.
As for the “Water Fountain 6 Grade”, our Director of Facilities, Patrick Whitt, has confirmed with the district that the specific fountain was taken out of service and re-tested below the action levels for both catalysts, with results being reported on Oct, 7, 2022 by Adirondack Environmental Services. Lead was not “Not Detected” and copper was recorded at 0.0255 mg/l, significantly below the action level for copper.
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
You may contact my office at 518-622-8534 with any questions or concerns.
Please be assured that we will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure that the quality of our drinking water meets state regulations.
Superintendent of Schools