Since initially being notified of the issue on October 8th, the Village has been working closely and cooperatively with Colgate in an effort to determine why certain University-owned buildings tested by the University, including three also tested by the Village, have produced test results that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “action level” for lead content in drinking water.
While the Village continues to investigate the issue in a reasoned and methodical manner, the Village has no reason to believe that there are elevated lead levels in its public water supply. The Village has recently taken and tested samples from its groundwater well source and at eleven Village hydrants located throughout the Village, including near Broad Street. All these sample test results have reported lead levels that are essentially non-detectable at less than one part per billion. As a result, the Village reassures the public that the Village water is safe.
Even though the routine EPA lead testing protocol, most recently completed in 2017, has historically demonstrated that the Village of Hamilton is in full compliance with the EPA testing and reporting requirements with respect to the EPA’s “Lead and Copper Rule,” the Village is currently developing a testing plan to go beyond EPA / Health Department regulatory requirements and sample water at an additional 60 property locations throughout the Village to provide a broader, village-wide database from which better conclusions may be drawn regarding the causes of, and solutions for, the elevated lead test results at certain locations. The Village, in conjunction with Colgate University, is also interviewing several professional engineering firms to assist in evaluating the existing conditions and developing appropriate measures to address this situation going forward.
While the Village is confident that the water supply itself does not have elevated levels of lead, conditions at individual properties and buildings can vary widely and, in some instances, can result in lead content levels that are in excess of the EPA action level. The Village is continuing to work with Colgate University and the Madison County and New York State Health Departments to better determine why this is occurring at certain properties and how best to mitigate any identified conditions. The Village’s most recent Annual Drinking Water Quality Report for 2018 is posted on the Village website: https://hamilton-ny.gov/reports, which includes information about minimizing your risk of lead exposure from plumbing fixtures that may be present in your home or place of business.