Dear Colgate Community,

I write today to provide an update regarding the elevated lead levels discovered at some lower-campus properties in the fall of 2019.

Water sampling for lead has continued on a regular basis, and we are pleased to report that test results have remained below the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) action level for several consecutive months. 

Engineering firm GHD Consulting Services, hired to investigate potential sources of the elevated lead levels, was unable to determine a definitive cause of the previously elevated levels; however, they identified several factors that have been known to contribute to elevated lead in water: older lead containing service materials, lead-soldered copper joints, cast iron water mains with leaded joints, stagnation during periods of prolonged low water usage, and physical disturbances from seasonal construction or road maintenance activities.

Environmental Health and Safety staff will continue to conduct routine sampling where elevated lead levels had been previously observed, along with periodic sampling of all University facilities to monitor water quality across campus. At this point, and following several consecutive monthly water test results below the EPA Lead and Copper Rule action levels, we will discontinue the mitigation measures we had in place over the last year.

As a best practice, we will continue the use of in-line and faucet-mount NSF-certified filtration systems, however, temporary water coolers that were installed last year have been removed.

Colgate continues to communicate regularly with the Madison County Department of Health and the Village of Hamilton regarding water quality, and we will continue to monitor the University’s drinking water as a standard practice. 


Mary Williams
Director of Environmental Health and Safety