Salem-Keizer Public Schools tested water for contaminants at all schools during the Summer of 2016. Please see the copper and lead test results for each school listed below, as well as other resources related to this issue. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.
Water Testing Frequently Asked Questions
Our goal is to replace and test new fixtures as soon as possible.
No. The district did not test any outdoor hose bibs, nor did we test any school garden soil or produce. However, we are considering whether to test outdoor hose bibs that could be regularly used for irrigating vegetable gardens or drinking. In the meantime, we are encouraged by this memo from the Oregon Health Authority, which says that garden vegetables are not a significant source of lead, even when grown in contaminated soils.
Based on this advice, Portland Public Schools has decided to allow continued consumption of their school garden produce. We have not restricted the consumption of vegetables grown in our school gardens.
Fixtures that tested high for lead or copper are immediately turned off and clearly labeled and have bags placed over them. After new fixtures are installed, the new fixtures will be tested to ensure they meet drinking water standards.
No. Following EPA guidelines, we only tested fixtures that are regular sources of water for drinking and cooking. So this would exclude bathroom fixtures, science class lab sinks, exterior hose bibs and other outlets not designed for obtaining water for human consumption.
No schools will be closed due to the repair of water fixtures. Fixtures at schools that test high for lead or copper are immediately taken out of service and repairs proceed while schools are in session.
C & D samples were collected after remediation (usually fixture replacement) work has been done at sample sites that were above the SKPS action levels in the initial A samples. We are only having the C sample analyzed initially and will only have the D sample analyzed if necessary based on the A, B and C results.
All fixtures with “A” sample results above the action level will remain out of service until replaced, regardless of the “B” sample results. The “B” sample simply helps determine the source of the metal in the water (fixture vs. supply pipe) to help with planning our repairs.
In reports on water testing at schools located in the right column “A” and “B” samples are listed. The “A” sample is the first water sample drawn, which includes water that has been sitting in the fixture. The “B” sample is drawn next and includes water that has been sitting in the pipe leading to the fixture. We analyze the “A” samples for all fixtures; but only analyze the “B” sample on fixtures where the “A” sample results were over the action level. See the reports for your school on the district website at the link above for details on action levels.
School district officials have consulted with local health authorities regarding student safety concerns related to drinking water in our schools. The Marion County Health Department recommends that parents with concerns about their children’s health contact their healthcare provider.