Precautions Taken After Water Quality Test
Precautions Taken After Water Quality Test
Posted on 05/18/2018
water drop

UPDATE: May 25, 2018

Water testing has shown that we need to continue repairing parts and fixtures where lead levels prompted action. Those repairs may take several weeks. 

We’ve restricted access to affected fixtures. The fixtures will remain off-limits until our maintenance staff completes repairs and conducts follow-up tests to ensure the quality of the water.

Students and staff will continue to use bottled drinking water until all repairs have been made.

Because of questions we 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.