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. The District’s first sampling regimen in January 2021 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.

Over the course of approximately five days, from November 10-16, contractors will begin sampling PFAS is soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment on and near school grounds at Algonquin Middle School. The DEC identified and flagged more than 20 sampling locations and will collect soil and shallow groundwater samples using a drill rig, and samples of surface water and sediment from the creek running along the south and west of the school will also be collected.

 

Remedy

Since learning of these test results, the District has worked closely with Rensselaer County, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the Town of Poestenkill in developing a plan for providing safe water for our students, staff and community. Mosaic Associates, the District’s architect and engineering firm, worked in conjunction with the Rensselaer County Department of Health and NYSED to determine that a PFOA-specific water filtration system was the most efficient and effective option for addressing the conditions at this time.

The PFOA filtration system plan has been approved by both the Rensselaer County DOH and NYSED, and the District has engaged a contractor who has already commenced work on this project.

Below are District communications and lab results regarding the state-mandated testing.

 

Communications

 

Lab Results

Original Test Per State Mandate (January 7, 2021)

Required Test to Confirm Initial Results (February 1, 2021)

Quarter 2 Test (June 24, 2021)

Quarter 3 Test (October 6, 2021

Quarter 4 (December, 2021)