Lead in Water Testing
OAR 581-022-2223(5)(d) states that the Healthy and Safe Schools Plan must include a plan to test for and reduce exposure to lead in water used for drinking or food preparation. If the district, education service district, or public charter school does conduct lead testing of drinking water, an Oregon Health Authority accredited lab must be used for all testing.
The Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority recommend that all school districts and childcare facilities test for lead in school water and take corrective action if lead levels are elevated.
In developing a plan to test for and reduce exposure to lead in water used for drinking or food preparation, the following components are recommended by the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority:
- Identify sources of lead: Schools and childcare facilities should test all taps used for drinking or food preparation in the building to identify any lead problems. Follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s 3 T’s Revised Technical Guidance to ensure that samples for lead are collected properly and from the right places. Use an OHA-accredited drinking water laboratory to analyze samples for lead.
- Stop access: Prevent access to water taps that have more than 20 parts per billion (ppb) of lead. This should include shutting off taps, covering water fountains, and providing bottled water to students and staff members.
- Communicate: Make results from tests for lead in water available to students, families, and the community as quickly as possible.
- Mitigate and correct: Replace the sources of lead in building plumbing. Again, EPA 3T’s Guidance should be followed.
The EPA’s 3Ts technical guidance is available here: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/toolkit_leadschools_guide_3ts_leadschools.pdf
The District has tested all fixtures used for human consumption and food preparation to ensure safe water supplies. Initial water sampling by District staff was conducted following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) testing guidelines for sampling water in schools. The District used a drinking water laboratory accredited by the Oregon Health Authority (OHS) to analyze water samples for lead. The District followed the components outlined above to address issues where elevated lead levels were identified. Community members can access a copy of the test results below: