Precautions Taken After Water Quality Tests
Water in School is Safe to Drink
Posted on 05/22/2018
water droplet

UPDATE: May 22, 2018

Water in our school is safe to drink. 

We have tested every faucet and drinking fountain in the building. We found the source of lead levels that prompted action. The cause is isolated to fixtures or parts in several sinks. 

The affected sinks are turned off. The sinks will remain off until our maintenance staff completes repairs and conducts follow-up tests to ensure the quality of the water.

Since water samples tested safe from all other drinking fountains and faucets, students and staff will be allowed to drink from them again.

The testing last week was part of our district’s regular efforts to monitor water quality. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends action at 20 ppb. Our district takes action when water samples show lead at more than 10 parts per billion.

Thank you for your patience as we work to protect the health of our students and staff.

Because of questions you may have, we wanted to share a bit more about how our district monitors water quality in our schools.

Water Quality Testing Process

We test water quality in every school, following guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Health. We voluntarily began a comprehensive water quality testing program for our schools in 2016. Testing is a multi-step process, and we continue to update that process as new guidelines and best practices are introduced.

Step 1: Water sampling

Draw water from fixtures not in use for 8 to 10 hours. We usually do this in the morning.

Step 2: Initial Action

The EPA recommends taking action when tests show levels of 20 parts per billion. If we receive test results of greater than 10 ppb, our district will take a fixture out of service.

Step 3: Repairs

We replace parts or fixtures that were taken out of service. We then retest water once a new part or fixture is installed.

Water Quality Q&A 

Q: Where does lead in water come from?

A: The lead could come from a variety of sources all the way from the pipes to particles in an aerator at the tip of a fixture. When just a few fixtures in a school show elevated lead levels, it’s an indication that the cause is in an individual fixture.

Q: What are the standards for testing?

A: Learn more about testing for lead in schools from the State Department of Health’s website: https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/DrinkingWater/Contaminants/Lead/LeadinSchools

Q: I washed my hands in one of the faucets with elevated lead levels. Am I safe?

A: There is a very low risk of lead exposure through hand washing. Skin does not easily absorb lead.

Q: What should I do if I have concerns about lead exposure?

A: If anyone has a concern about lead exposure, we recommend they consult their medical provider.