One in seven schools surveyed statewide reported unsafe levels of lead in their drinking water, the state Health Department said Thursday. In the survey, 120 of 700 schools that responded reported at least one test that showed lead levels above the federal safety standard.
"Virtually all" of the schools reporting the presence of lead acted by either flushing pipes, offering bottled water or other means, said Health Department spokesman William Van Slyke.
Though 700 schools responded to the survey, many other districts chose not to answer, Van Slyke said. He could not provide an exact number of schools that declined to respond.
Assembly Education Committee Chairman Steven Sanders on Thursday wrote to top state officials, saying New York had failed to find out how high the lead readings were and never responded to 91 schools that sought guidance.