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November 20, 2008

Eight faucets on Gavilan College campus show elevated lead level in test

2009 February Update
Consumer Factsheet on Lead in Drinking Water
Lead and Copper Sample Pamphlet
Next Steps

On Thursday, November 20 an email was sent to all staff at Gavilan College to inform them, as required by law, that tests had shown elevated levels of lead at eight of 22 campus faucets tested. Students will be notified through brochures and on the campus web site.

Tests at the well showed that the water source is free of lead. Further testing is underway, and well as steps to ensure drinking water safety, including replacement of affected faucets.

The text of the email, and attachments, follow below:

  • On August 28, 2008 water samples were collected at 22 faucets on campus, as part of standard testing procedure.
  • On September 12 we received the results from BSK Analytical Laboratories (see below) showing that more than 10% of the samples tested above the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for lead and copper.
  • In October we were advised of the requirement to notify all students and staff about the results of the water tests and to provide "Lead in Drinking Water" information.
    • Eight faucets tested above MCLG for lead.
    • On faucet tested above MCLG for copper.
    • The MCLG for lead is 0.015 (prior to 1991 it was 0.050)
  • The school water supply has been tested at the well and found to be below MCLG at the source, indicating that the metals are entering the water through the fixtures or plumbing lines.
  • The affected faucets are:
    • BU kitchenette sink - 0.018 ppb lead
    • TH make-up room sink - 0.015 lead
    • CH southwest sink (new fixture) - 0.029 lead
    • LS custodial closet sink (new fixture) - 0.026 lead
    • TH 127 shop sink (new fixture) - 0.039 lead
    • MAYOCK HOUSE kitchen sink - 0.027 lead
    • APE custodial closet sink (new fixture) 0.031 lead
    • GY custodial closet sink (new fixture) 0.027 lead and 1.4 ppb copper (MCLG is 1.3 ppb)
  • These faucets are being replaced this week.

The following steps are in progress to ensure the safety of students and staff, and compliance with CDPH regulations:

  • Informational brochures about lead in drinking water will be distributed to all staff and made available to students in the Student Center, Security Office, PB 2, CDC, and Gym areas, and online. The brochure is also attached to this email along with a Consumer Factsheet on Lead in Drinking Water.
  • All drinking fountains on campus are being tested and will be replaced as necessary.
  • All CDC and kitchen faucets will be tested and replaced as necessary.
  • All affected faucets and an additional 18 faucets around the campus will be tested for follow-up report to CDPH.
  • A program to check water lines for corrosion is being implemented.
  • A letter will go out to parents of children in the CDC informing them of the situation.
  • More testing of faucets will be done in December. If you would like a specific faucet tested, please let me know.

As a general precaution, all water users can protect themselves by:

  • Allowing water to run for 30 seconds before using for consumption
  • Not drawing drinking or cooking water from the hot water tap.

The following faucets, also tested in August, were below MCLG for lead and copper:

  • CDC Playground 
  • HOB faculty sink
  • SC Health nurse sink
  • SS kitchenette downstairs sink
  • COS breakroom sink
  • LIB custodial closet sink
  • PH MESA sink
  • PB9 Northeast sink
  • OE Custodial closet sink
  • HRC kitchen
  • CJ500 outside spigot
  • Sec/Main Custodial sink
  • Ball field fountain
  • Sec/Main outside spigot

As additional water testing is completed, the information will be made available on the college web site:


Last modified: August 17, 2011
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800