Annual AHERA Notification
District Water Testing Results 2022
To see 2022 results, please click here.
Princeton Public Schools
25 Valley Rd, Princeton, NJ 08540
Dear Princeton Public Schools Community,
Our school system is committed to protecting student, teacher, and staff health. To protect our community and remain in compliance with the Department of Education regulations, Princeton Public Schools tested our schools’ drinking water for lead.
In accordance with the Department of Education regulations, Princeton Public Schools implemented immediate remedial measures for any drinking water outlet with a result greater than the action level of 15 μg/l (parts per billion [ppb]). This includes turning off the outlet unless it is determined the location must remain on for non-drinking purposes. In these cases, a “DO NOT DRINK – SAFE FOR HANDWASHING ONLY” sign would be posted.
Results of Our Testing
Following instructions given in technical guidance developed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, we completed a plumbing profile for each of the buildings within the District. Through this effort, we identified and tested all drinking water and food preparation outlets. Of the 241 samples taken, all but 35 tested below the lead action level established by the US Environmental Protection Agency for lead in drinking water (15 μg/l [ppb]).
The table below identifies actual lead levels of "first draw" samples of the drinking water outlets that tested above the 15 μg/l. Please note that all but two of the samples that tested above 15 μg/l were from water fountains ("bubblers") that were decommissioned in 2020 and have remained off. Drinking water has been provided through bottle filling stations.
Two exceptions in the table are the PHS S-01 “Kitchen by Checkout” and this is a hand wash only sink. The second, was a Johnson Park water cooler and that has been disconnected.
The following table is the list of overages in the district:
Health Effects of Lead
High levels of lead in drinking water can cause health problems. Lead is most dangerous for pregnant women, infants, and children under 6 years of age. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. Exposure to high levels of lead during pregnancy contributes to low birth weight and developmental delays in infants. In young children, lead exposure can lower IQ levels, affect hearing, reduce attention span, and hurt school performance. At very high levels, lead can even cause brain damage. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults.
How Lead Enters Our Water
Lead is unusual among drinking water contaminants in that it seldom occurs naturally in water supplies like groundwater, rivers and lakes. Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and in building plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass, and chrome-plated brass faucets. In 1986, Congress banned the use of lead solder containing greater than 0.2% lead, and restricted the lead content of faucets, pipes and other plumbing materials. However, even the lead in plumbing materials meeting these new requirements is subject to corrosion. When water stands in lead pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several hours or more, the lead may dissolve into the drinking water. This means the first water drawn from the tap in the morning may contain fairly high levels of lead.
Lead in Drinking Water
Lead in drinking water, although rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning can significantly increase a person’s total lead exposure, particularly the exposure of children under the age of 6. EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20% or more of a person’s total exposure to lead.
Test results are available in our central office, 25 Valley Road, for inspection by the public, including students, teachers, other school personnel, and parents, and can be viewed between the hours of 8:30 AM and 3 PM. Results are also available on the website. For more information about water quality in PPS schools, please contact David Harding at the Facilities Department, 609 806-4200 x2051.
For information on reducing lead exposure around your home and the health effects of lead, visit EPA’s Web site at www.epa.gov/lead, call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD, or contact your health care provider.
Director of Plant Operations