June 15, 2016 01:29 PM

The Suffolk County Water Authority in conjunction with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and Suffolk Legislator Dr. William Spencer this week hosted a forum at the SCWA Education Center to offer guidance to school districts on addressing potential hazards of lead in drinking water.

The forum, attended by more than 30 representatives of school districts from throughout Suffolk County, included a review of all pertinent information included within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guidance document for reducing lead in drinking water in schools, an overview of how SCWA ensures that the water delivered to schools is safe from lead contamination and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions to water supply industry and health department experts.

"The Suffolk County Water Authority through its rigorous testing protocols and an optimal corrosion control system ensures that the water we supply to our customers is safe from lead contamination," said SCWA Board Chairman James F. Gaughran. "But the second half of the equation is making sure that the water supply continues to be safe once it travels beyond our distribution system, and so we’re delighted to offer any insight we can provide in helping school districts ensure the safety of their drinking water on school grounds."

"This meeting was a proactive effort to protect public health," said Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services. "Suffolk County Health officials, Suffolk County

Water Authority administrators and school superintendents will continue to collaborate to ensure that schools are following EPA guidelines for safe drinking water and are aware of state and county drinking water regulations."

"I felt it was imperative to be proactive and coordinate this meeting considering the recent test results in some local schools showing lead contamination," Legislator Spencer told the assembled school officials at the forum. "Our goal is to ensure that everyone is on same page and to provide resources, understanding of roles and best practices on how to proceed in the event that test results reveal levels of lead in drinking water.  We have to approach this together and in joining forces we are better prepared and equipped to protect the health of the public."

Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer is pictured as he addresses attendees at a forum held at the Suffolk County Water Authority Education Center to offer guidance to school districts in addressing potential hazards of lead in drinking water.

The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York.  Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.


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