Elevated lead levels found in fountains, faucets at two Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Elevated lead levels found in fountains, faucets at two Portland schools

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Creston School in southeast Portland (KPTV file image) Creston School in southeast Portland (KPTV file image)

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith sent an apology home to parents Friday saying proper protocol was not followed after elevated levels of lead were found in faucets and fountains at two Portland schools.

Creston and Rose City Park schools requested that their buildings be tested in the spring.

In both buildings, there were six to eight sinks and water fountains that had lead levels that exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's maximum containment level for lead under the Safe Water Drinking Act.

All the fixtures were replaced and re-tested, with the final results of those tests expected to be returned the week of June 6.

However, Smith wrote that families were not notified by the district as soon as the initial tests showed elevated levels of lead.

The water was also not turned off in those faucets and fountains before they were replaced. Smith wrote the water should have been turned off.

"The EPA's best practices indicate that once elevated levels of lead are found, those water faucets should not be used for drinking or food preparation until they are replaced and retested. We apologize for not following this protocol," her letter states.

Going forward, administrators said EPA protocols will be followed and communication procedures will be revised for families and staff. Portland Public Schools will also conduct comprehensive district-wide water testing this summer.

The full letter is posted on the PPS website.

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