Portland Parks & Recreation water testing shows elevated lead le - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Parks & Recreation water testing shows elevated lead levels in 17 samples

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Multnomah Arts Center (KPTV file image) Multnomah Arts Center (KPTV file image)
Multnomah Arts Center (KPTV file image) Multnomah Arts Center (KPTV file image)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Water testing at multiple Portland Parks & Recreation locations found elevated lead levels in 17 of 180 samples.

Portland Parks & Recreation staff announced voluntary testing earlier this month at Fulton Community Center, Portland Children's Museum and Multnomah Arts Center and Mt. Tabor Annex.

The water was flushed at the Fulton Community Center and Portland Children's Museum every morning as a precaution. At the Multnomah Arts Center, which showed elevated lead levels in the water during testing three years ago, all fixtures were blocked off with "do not drink" signs. Bottled drinking water was provided.

The testing came as concerns were raised about elevated lead levels in the water at public schools in Portland.

City workers said they are adhering to guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency that lead in drinking water at schools and daycares should not exceed 20 parts per billion.

Portland Parks & Recreation released the results of the testing Monday.

Staff reported that none of the 12 samples taken at Fulton Community Center exceeded 20 parts per billion.

At the Portland Children's Museum, five of the 76 samples exceeded 20 parts per billion. Four sinks and one drinking fountain have now been blocked off. The fountain is in a staff area and it had already been turned off.

Eleven of the 75 water samples from the Multnomah Arts Center were above 20 parts per billion for lead. The highest registered 447 parts per billion in a storage area that had not been in use recently.

Bottled water will continue to be provided at the arts center, "until PP&R can assure full mitigation and re-testing," according to the agency.

One new drinking fountain at the center had levels "well below" 20 parts per billion and has been re-opened for public use.

Water fountains were also taken out of service as a precaution at Mt. Tabor Annex, due to the fact it hosts preschool classes. Of 17 samples at that location, one showed 20 parts per billion of lead. Staff indicated that the first floor fountain in question had not been in frequent use.

An independent certified industrial hygienist will now review all the results and recommend the next steps for any water fixture with elevated lead levels.

Portland Parks & Recreation is planning to create a new list for testing to include all sites where preschools are located, regardless of the age of the building or plumbing.  

The full results from the most recent tests can be found at portlandoregon.gov.

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