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Lead levels too high in six FGSD buildings

Elevated levels of lead have been detected in fixtures at six Forest Grove schools, school district officials announced today.

“As part of our commitment to keep students, staff and the members of the community safe, the Forest Grove School District has conducted water testing in all of its school buildings,” a statement on the district’s website read.

"The health and safety of our students and staff is extremely important to District. As such, we will be replacing all of the affected fixtures and will retest ASAP," said David Warner, FGSD director of communication and engagement.

The fixtures will be replaced next week, Warner said, and the district will test lead levels again. Those results will be released to the public.

The district contracted with Indy Safety, Inc. and Pixis Labs to test for lead in the water at its 14 buildings after similar tests revealed elevated lead levels in Portland Public Schools.

Preliminary results for the FGSD showed elevated levels at Gales Creek Elementary, Tom McCall East Upper Elementary, Forest Grove High, Harvey Clarke Elementary and Neil Armstrong Middle schools as well as at the district’s Community Alternative Learning Center.

Lead levels below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended levels were found at Cornelius Elementary, Dilley Elementary, Echo Shaw Elementary, Fern Hill Elementary, Joseph Gale Elementary and Tom McCall West Upper Elementary schools, as well as the district office, Cedar Street House and the School Based Health Center.

Of the more than 400 fixtures tested district wide, 11 fixtures came back with elevated levels of lead.

The district pledged to:

- Turn off all faucets that have tested positive for elevated levels of lead.

- Provide bottled water in the identified areas as needed.

- Replace identified fixtures and pipes where necessary to reduce lead levels.

- Re-test affected areas.

- Students, staff and the community will be notified when the issue has been resolved.

Visit the Oregon Health Authority website for more information regarding lead exposure at https://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/HealthyNeighborhoods/LeadPoisoning/Pages/index.aspx.

Copies of the district’s water testing results will be available upon request from the district’s Central Office. Call 503-359-2425 for results.