In response to elevated levels of lead being discovered in some schools around Oregon, Lincoln County School District proactively sampled water at all of our schools.
Between May 12th and June 1st, at least 6 samples were taken from each of our schools to test for lead and copper. We contracted with the Analytical Lab Group in Eugene to examine the samples. One faucet at Yaquina View School came back with a lead level of concern. We learned of this on June 8th at 5:00 p.m. when we were notified by email with the lab results.
The lead level in school drinking water for which the EPA requires action is either .015 or .020 mg/liter – there are conflicting reports on this number. We are working with the Oregon Health Authority for guidance. The sample from Room 31 showed a level of .0192. While this number represents a very small level of lead, we are taking it seriously.
On the morning of June 9th, we immediately sent our Plumber to Yaquina View to disable that particular faucet. We also immediately notified district office administrators, the school principal, school nurse and the Lincoln County Environmental Health. We arranged to meet with the school’s staff at the end of the school day. We arranged for portable water dispensers to be delivered to the school to be used for these last few days of school. Any untested drinking water faucets in Yaquina View School will be tested as soon as possible.
In addition, due to a higher than usual number of student illnesses at Yaquina View in the last few weeks, as a precaution, we also had a Bacteria Test (which measures for E-Coli and Coliform in the water) performed at all of our schools. All of those tests came back normal – none of these bacteria were detected in any of the tests. School officials also say that the recent outbreak of Norovirus is not, in any way, connected to issues involving lead.