Department of Education (DOE) Has Completed Water Testing in every Public School in the City

April 28, 2017

Dear Families and Staff:

The safety and well-being of students and staff is our highest priority. I am pleased to share that the Department of Education (DOE) has completed water testing in every public school in the City. 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 City regulates its own watershed that surrounds and protects our reservoirs, and the water is tested over 500,000 times each year at various points throughout the system. Beyond these extensive measures, the DOE works with City agencies, including the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Environmental Protection, to ensure our students have access to safe drinking water in schools. There has never been a known case of lead poisoning due to water in New York City schools.

In any building where lead test results showed even one water outlet above the action level of 15 parts per billion, we implemented our standard remediation protocol. This includes immediately taking drinking and cooking water outlets with exceedances out of service, flushing all or part of the system to eliminate water sitting in pipes overnight, replacing equipment and keeping affected drinking and cooking water outlets out of service until follow-up testing shows those outlets no longer have elevations.

Using State standards, 92% of our fixtures system-wide tested below guidance. This demonstrates that we do not have any systemic issues with water in our school buildings and our remediation protocol is effective. Our results compare favorably to other school districts across the State.

A letter with detailed information about each school’s results was shared with school communities over the last several months. Every school’s letter is available on its DOE website, along with full laboratory test results. Providing you with comprehensive information that is easily accessible on the DOE website is key to our partnership with you.

Please visit to learn more about the robust protocol we use to ensure the safety of drinking water in each and every school.

We thank you for your partnership in delivering a high-quality education to your child and to children across the City. If you have any questions, please contact your school.

Sincerely yours, Elizabeth A. Rose
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