Water Testing in Our Schools

Water Testing in Our Schools
Posted on 12/12/2017

November 1, 2017

Dear Hillsborough Community,

Our school system is committed to protecting student, teacher, and staff health. As part of these efforts, Hillsborough Township Public Schools will be retesting all consumable drinking water outlets for lead in the nine schools and other district facilities. This retesting is being conducted due to irregularities in the drinking water testing protocols implemented during the 2016-2017 school year. The New Jersey Department of Education and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have advised the Hillsborough Township Public Schools to resample the drinking water outlets throughout the district as a precautionary measure.

Beginning the week of November 5, 2017, Hillsborough Schools will start the process of re-identifying and testing all consumable water outlets (i.e., water fountains, food preparation sinks, ice machines, etc.).  These outlets will continue to remain in service to allow the tests to be conducted under normal usage conditions, as outlined in the NJDEP lead testing procedures. All outlets that are currently out-of-service will continue to remain closed, but will be retested as part of this process.

Once the lab results are reviewed and verified, they will be shared with the school communities via the district website, www.htps.us, and via School Messenger alerts as has been previously done. All outlets that test at or above the actionable level of  15 µg/l (parts per billion [ppb]) will be immediately turned off or labeled as “Do not drink, hand washing only,” and will be included in the district’s remediation plans.

How Lead Enters our Water

Lead is unusual among drinking water contaminants in that it seldom occurs naturally in water supplies like groundwater, rivers and lakes. Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and in building plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass, and chrome-plated brass faucets. In 1986, Congress banned the use of lead solder containing greater than 0.2% lead, and restricted the lead content of faucets, pipes and other plumbing materials. However, even the lead in plumbing materials meeting these new requirements is subject to corrosion. When water stands in lead pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several hours or more, the lead may dissolve into the drinking water. This means the first water drawn from the tap in the morning may contain fairly high levels of lead.

Lead in Drinking Water

Lead in drinking water, although rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning can significantly increase a person’s total lead exposure, particularly the exposure of children under the age of 6. EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20% or more of a person’s total exposure to lead.

For More Information

As lab results return, copies of the results will be posted on our website at www.htps.us. Copies of the lab reports will also be available at our Building & Grounds office located at 407 Amwell Rd., Hillsborough, NJ, for inspection by the public, including students, teachers, other school personnel, and parents, on weekdays between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  For more information about water quality in our schools, please contact us at leadinfo@htps.us.

For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home and the health effects of lead, visit EPA’s Web site at www.epa.gov/lead, call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD, or contact your health care provider.

If you are concerned about lead exposure at this facility or in your home, you may want to ask your health care providers about testing children to determine levels of lead in their blood.


Aiman Mahmoud

School Business Administrator/Board Secretary

Hillsborough Township Public Schools

* To view information and results from the water testing that took place during the 2016-2017 school year, please click here.

December 2017 Lead Testing Updates

Amsterdam Elementary School - December 12, 2017 Memo - Analytical Reports - Results Summary

Hillsborough Elementary School - December 12, 2017 Memo - Analytical Reports - Results Summary

Sunnymead Elementary School - December 12, 2017 Memo - Analytical Reports - Results Summary

Triangle Elementary School - December 12, 2017 Memo - Analytical Reports - Results Summary

Woodfern Elementary School - December 12, 2017 Memo - Analytical Reports - Results Summary

Woods Road Elementary School - December 12, 2017 Memo - Analytical Reports - Results Summary

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