We received several inquiries about the elevated levels of lead in the water of four buildings on campus. This page provides clarification on the testing between December 26, 2016 and January 6, 2017 and next steps.

First, the process by which these original samples were taken: to test the purest sample, we followed recommendations to take the first sample that immediately comes from the water source at a time when the pipes have had the least amount of use. As a result, our sustainability coordinator and an OSHA independent contractor obtained the samples from one faucet in each building during the holiday break. They were then sent to Agra Environmental and Laboratory Services for testing. The university did these tests voluntarily and not because of any regulation or mandate to do so.

The federal (EPA) and state (NJDEP) guidelines state that 15 micrograms per Liter (ug/L) is the actionable limit for lead in water. The results that we received from our sampling between December 26th, 2016 and January 6th, 2017 indicated that there was an elevated level of lead in four of the buildings tested. They are as follows:

  • Gilbert House
  • Smith House
  • SW Bowne
  • The Rose Library Book Stacks

We collected new samples from each sink in these buildings, the following are the lab results from the additional testing in these four buildings:

Historic Water Testing Lab Reports:

The university is continuing to treat this issue with the utmost urgency and is replacing water pipes, branch water mains and faucets at Gilbert, Smith and Bowne. In addition, the impacted sinks at Rose Library have been removed.

As a reminder, the impacted buildings are providing bottled water until the repairs are completed. The source of Drew’s water is the Borough of Madison, which also tests its water periodically. Finally, you can find additional information at the New Jersey Department of Health.
Thank you for your understanding and support as we work to resolve this situation.