After Elevated Lead Levels In 2016, Ithaca City Schools Plans To Turn Water Back On By December

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Leaders in Ithaca City Schools say the water should be turned on by the end of the year.

Celia Clarke/WSKG

Five gallon water containers in a hallway of Ithaca High School next to a shut off drinking water fountain. Water into all schools was shut off after 2016 tests showed some had elevated lead levels. Drinking water was replaced by certified water. Photo: Celia Clarke/WSKG

The school district shut off all water coming into the schools in 2016 after tests showed elevated lead levels in some locations. They hired a firm to identify the exact sources of the lead and then began necessary upgrades to fixtures. They started with the elementary schools.

Amanda Verba is the District’s Chief Operations Officer and has been overseeing the work to correct the lead problems.

“I think we have a ‘Go Live’ date of, like, November. Late November, early December to have those all turned on and ready to go.”

By January, 2019, Verba says they hope to have all the five-gallon water coolers removed from all elementary schools. When that is done, work will begin at the middle and high schools.

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