Friday, June 23, 2017


The Seth Boyden School drinking fountain that had been found to have lead levels nearly 30 times the acceptable limit during recent testing was tested again and found to be well within safe levels.

But the school district still has no information on why.

Superintendent John Ramos issued an update Friday that indicated the fountain, initially found to have a lead level of 444ppb (parts per billion), during tests in May was tested again last week and found to be at less than 1ppb. 

State health officials consider a level of 15ppb or lower to be safe.

Ramos issued the findings in a note to parents Friday, but with no explanation for why the levels might have been so different on the different tests.

See that note below:

Dear SOMSD Community,

SOMSD has received the results of retesting the water fountain at Seth Boyden that had a finding of 444 parts per billion in the sample taken in May.  Lew Corp, our testing company, took 2 samples from this water fountain last week, and followed the same State-mandated testing protocols.  Both of the new samples had results of less than 1 part per billion of lead.  The report is posted on the District’s website.

The other 8 water sources which had results above the action level of 15 parts per billion were retested this week, as were the 3 sources from SOMS whose original samples were lost and not included in the original report.  We expect the results of these tests next week.

This summer, we are planning to replace all of the water fountains and/or faucets which had elevated lead levels in the initial testing, and we are installing filtration systems on all of our drinking fountains which provide drinking water or are used for food preparation, as a preventative measure.  Although the replacement of the drinking fountains and/or faucets and the installation of filtration systems are not required by the State, we will undertake these measures to provide additional safety to our drinking water. 

Notes from SOMSD’s June 17th Community Question and Answer Session on Lead in Drinking Water are attached.

We will keep the community informed of the status of our lead testing and remediation, as we continue to work to ensure the safety of our students and staff.


Dr. John J. Ramos, Sr.

The school district revealed on June 12 that nine drinking water sources at five schools had lead levels above the 15ppb acceptable level, with the Seth Boyden fountain the highest. They held a forum on the issue last Saturday.

But then, as today, there was no explanation for why such levels were found.

Now as the district contends that the most toxic fountain is well within the safe levels, such information is raising more questions that it is answering.