Dear Averill Park Families:

Recently enacted New York State regulations mandate that the District test all buildings with well-sourced water for the chemicals PFOA, PFOS and 1,4-Dioxane on a quarterly basis using an independent certified laboratory. The District is not required to test the George Washington School or Poestenkill Elementary School water sources because testing of these sources is performed by the municipal water supplier.

Results of the required tests must be reported to the Rensselaer County Department of Health (County). The District’s first sampling regimen resulted in no reportable conditions of PFOA, PFOS or 1,4-Dioxane at the Averill Park High School, Miller Hill-Sand Lake Elementary School or the West Sand Lake Elementary School.   

However, the District was notified by the County that the laboratory results for the Algonquin Middle School (AMS) water sample indicated a PFOA level of 13 parts per trillion (ppt), exceeding the allowable New York State maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 ppt. There were no reportable conditions for PFOS or 1,4-Dioxane at AMS.

Per the County’s guidance, a single PFOA test exceeding the MCL does not require the District to implement a remediation plan at this time due to mandatory retesting requirements when an initial test has exceeded the MCL. Nevertheless out of an abundance of caution, we will be implementing the following safety measures beginning Monday, February 1 and until further notice.

The District is closing off all AMS water fountains. We will be providing bottled water throughout AMS for student and staff drinking and for cafeteria meal preparation. The County has informed us that other water usage, such as handwashing and toilet flushing, can continue as usual. The District will also be retesting the well water sources early next week in compliance with the required 30-day mandatory retesting period.

We will continue to keep the community informed about this situation, including the retesting results, any additional guidance from the Rensselaer County Department of Health and, if necessary, the District’s remediation plan. More information on this topic can be found at  Public Water Systems and NYS Drinking Water Standards for PFOA, PFOS and 1,4-Dioxane