What’s in your Water?

Water fountains in Buildings 5 and 8 were found to have trace amounts of lead and will be shut down until further notice.

Water samples taken from the afflicted fountains have been proven to have levels of lead that are considered “marginally outside acceptable levels,” according to Doug Ford,  Director of Facilities at MCC. There are also several sinks around campus and a drinking fountain in Building 10 that are out of order.

It is believed that the construction of the older water fountains is the cause of this concern. Also, the office of Environmental Health & Safety has confirmed the presence of lead at the higher levels of the buildings as well, citing old lead soldering as the possible cause for the elevated floors.

According to the Office of Environmental Health & Safety, the investigation was spurred by the Flint, Michigan water crisis and the finding of lead in local public school districts. The college voluntarily had every fresh water source tested with upward of 200 water samples.

Lead exposure and poisoning is primarily a concern for children under 6 years of age, but can affect older people if they have had heavy levels of exposure over long periods of time.

The Mayo Clinic lists possible symptoms of lead poisoning in adults, including but not limited to: memory loss, mood disorders, pain and numbness in extremities, joint pain, muscle pain, constipation, abdominal pain, and high blood pressure.

If you feel you may have been exposed to lead contamination, Health Services would encourage you to see your primary care physician.

UPDATE: Due to current rental conditions, the Damon City Campuses water supply remains untested for contaminants like lead.

Brighton Campus and the Applied Technology Institute’s buildings where both tested, but Damon City Campus (DCC) was not able to be examined in the most recent round of samples. Again, the test was voluntary but did not align with current rental agreements made with the building and its management company.

Built in 1906, the Sibley’s building is considered a Rochester, NY landmark. The buildings age alone is enough to raise concern over the fresh water infrastructure. However, a 2012 decision by the school to relocate may relieve concerns over lead testing. Currently, MCC and the DCC are in the process of moving its campus from the Sibley building to the old Kodak Complex in Rochester’s “High Falls District.”

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