Colgate University and the Village of Hamilton are working together to hire an engineering firm to conduct a comprehensive scientific review of elevated lead levels. The elevated levels were found in first-draw samples taken during the month of October within University-owned properties in the village. While the University is mitigating these water issues with the use of faucet filters and water coolers for all affected Colgate locations, further study is needed for a more permanent solution.
An engineering review will be conducted to more clearly understand what is causing elevated lead levels in first-draw sampling, and to develop a series of possible long-term solutions in collaboration with the Village.
To date, the University has conducted 28 first-draw tests (water that has set motionless for more than six hours), and 32 flush tests (taken from water that has been running for at least 30 seconds) at University-owned properties. Of the first-draw tests, 14 have returned with lead levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency action level of 15 parts per billion, while all of the interior building flush tests, which more closely mimic actual water use, showed levels below the EPA limit.
While testing conducted earlier this month indicated a concentration of elevated test levels in buildings along Broad Street corridor of the Village, additional results returned last week from outside of that area also show elevated levels of lead in first-draw sampling, at the Chenango Nursery School (CNS), which was proactively fitted with faucet filters and water coolers before testing was conducted. Samples taken by the Village from its groundwater supply well, as well as at eleven Village hydrants located throughout the Village, including near Broad Street, have all reported lead levels that are essentially non-detectable at less than one part per billion. The Village is also planning testing of an additional 60 properties throughout the Village to provide additional data to assist in determining appropriate actions going forward.
The health and safety of all members of the Colgate community and area residents is the number one concern of Colgate University and the Village of Hamilton. All potentially affected individuals residing in Colgate-owned buildings have been notified of the findings and have the option to receive free blood testing coordinated by the University and Community Memorial Hospital. Blood test results to date from 38 students and one University staff member from the Broad Street area have all showed no detectable levels of lead.
Colgate will share all future updates at colgate.edu/leadtesting as we work with the Village of Hamilton to continue investigating this issue and as mitigation plans continue to develop. Visit the EPA online for Basic Information About Lead in Drinking Water.