Water Testing in Our Schools

Water Testing in Our Schools
Posted on 04/07/2017

April 7, 2017

Hillsborough Township Public Schools is committed to protecting students’ and staff’s health. As required by the Department of Education regulations, all drinking water outlets in our facilities must be sampled for lead.  Hillsborough Township Public Schools has scheduled the lead drinking water sampling for all nine district schools to be conducted between Thursday, April 13 and Monday, May 1, 2017 during unoccupied hours.

Why Test School Drinking Water for Lead?

Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters the body from drinking water or other sources. Lead is most dangerous for pregnant women, infants, and children under 6-years-old. Exposure to high levels of lead during pregnancy contributes to low birth weight and developmental delays in infants. In young children, lead exposure can lower IQ levels, affect hearing, reduce attention span, and hurt school performance. At very high levels, lead can even cause brain damage.

Lead is rarely found in the source water; rather it enters the drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the service line or interior plumbing.  These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome-brass faucets, and in some cases, pipes made of lead that connect buildings to water mains (service lines).  Since 1986, all plumbing materials must be “lead free”.  The law currently allows plumbing materials to be up to 0.25 percent lead to be labeled as “lead free”.  However, prior to January 4, 2014, “lead free” allowed up to eight percent lead content of the wetted surfaces of plumbing products including those labeled National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified.

What Actions We Are Taking?

Prior to sampling, Hillsborough Township Public Schools developed a Lead Sampling Plan for each building and conducted a plumbing profile.  The purpose of the plumbing profile was to identify all drinking water outlets and evaluate the plumbing materials of each school to determine if lead solder, lead pipes or a lead service line are present.

Hillsborough Township Public Schools’ Lead Sampling Plan are available for public review and are on file at the district’s Buildings and Grounds office located at 407 Amwell Rd, Hillsborough, NJ.

During testing at each building, all drinking water outlets in will be sampled.  We anticipate receiving the results from our laboratory within two weeks of sampling.  Upon receiving the sample results, the district will send notification via SchoolMessenger to inform you if any of the drinking water outlets had a result greater than the action level of 15 µg/l (parts per billion [ppb]) and will post all of the results on our website at www.htps.us.  The results will be used to assist in the prioritization of future water testing for lead in accordance with Hillsborough Township Public Schools Lead Sampling Plan.

Hillsborough Township Public Schools will also implement immediate remedial measures for any drinking water outlet with a result greater than the action level of 15 µg/l (ppb).  This will include turning off the outlet unless it is determined the location must remain on for non-drinking purposes.  In these cases, a “DO NOT DRINK – SAFE FOR HANDWASHING ONLY” sign will be posted.

How Can I Learn More?

For more information about water quality in our schools, please contact Sherif Henderson in our Buildings & Grounds Department at (908) 431-6600 x2074. For information about water quality and sampling for lead at home, contact your local water supplier or refer to the Department of Environmental Protection’s website. For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home and the possible health effects of lead, please contact the National Lead Information Center at 1(800) 424-LEAD or contact your local health care provider.


Aiman Mahmoud

School Business Administrator/Board Secretary

Hillsborough Township Public Schools

Testing Results

Woods Road Elementary School 

- Memorandum detailing results of the initial testing conducted on April 13, 2017  

- Additional documents: Time Sample Summary, Analytical Results from Samples, Rm. 114 Counter/Nurse Office Outlet Results

Sunnymead Elementary School

- Memorandum detailing results of the initial testing conducted on April 13, 2017

- Additional documents: Time Sample Summary, Analytical Results from Samples, Rms. 19, 10, 12, 13, 16, 7, 5, 6, Nurse Office Results

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