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News Release

For more information contact:
TCHD: Theresa Lyczko at 607-274-6600
ICSD: David Brown at 607-274-2252

Tompkins County Health Department and Ithaca City School District Release Interim Reports on Lead Tests at Caroline and Enfield Schools

(Ithaca, N.Y., April 14, 2016) — The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) and the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) have been investigating lead in the drinking water in the Caroline and Enfield Elementary Schools. Elevated levels of lead were detected in the drinking water at both schools in August 2015. The ICSD turned off all consumptive-use fixtures and has been supplying certified bottled water.

The TCHD and the ICSD collected separate sets of samples at Caroline and Enfield Elementary Schools in March 2016. All fixtures at both schools were previously tested in February 2016. The March results from Caroline were significantly better than the school-wide test results from February 2016. The results also indicated that flushing the drinking water fixtures for a short period of time might be effective in reducing lead levels in the drinking water.

The Enfield results were not as conclusive – with some results being higher and some lower than previous sampling results.

Additional information is needed to assess the situation at both schools: A plumbing profile needs to be developed. The ICSD has selected a consultant who will assist in this and related activities. Source (ground) water samples have been collected at both schools and will be tested for water quality parameters in addition to lead. The source water results and the plumbing profile will be used to determine what additional sampling should be conducted or if other changes should be implemented.

The ICSD will continue to provide certified bottled water while the investigation continues. TCHD will be coordinating with ICSD, NYSDOH and EPA on the investigation at all schools in the District.

Reports for these interim results at Caroline and Enfield Elementary Schools are posted on the TCHD and ICSD websites: