Precautions Taken After Water Test Results
Precautions Taken After Water Test Results
Posted on 05/18/2018
water droplet

UPDATE: May 18, 2018

This week, lead levels in several fixtures prompted us to take the fixtures out of service. As an additional precaution, we placed signs on all drinking fountains and provided bottled water. Read the Water Quality Testing section below for more on our sampling process.

We are replacing parts or fixtures in faucets that were taken out of service. We have retested the water. We are awaiting results from a certified laboratory.

Initially, we thought final results would be ready by week’s end. We now expect to receive final results next week. We will continue to provide bottled water for students and staff until we receive those results.

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.