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Most lead levels at Lake Oswego Junior High within EPA limits

All but one fixture tested had either no lead or levels that are not considered dangerous

Lab tests on faucets at Lake Oswego Junior High indicate that the school's water is safe for students and staff, district officials said Friday.

Amid anxieties over high lead levels discovered in Portland Public Schools’ faucets, the Lake Oswego School District conducted its own testing this summer. In June, the district reported that levels of lead in a drinking fountain in the staff development room of the Technology Building on Country Club Road and in a sink used for washing hands in the kitchen at LOJ did not meet Environmental Protection Agency requirements. Both fixtures were shut off.

Subsequent tests of 59 fixtures at LOJ in August indicated that most showed no detectable levels of lead, although one stainless steel drinking fountain in the boys locker room did exceed recommended EPA levels. It was shut off and replaced.

Sixteen other fixtures produced samples that showed some measurable levels of lead, but all 16 were under the EPA limits.

The EPA says lead levels in water greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb) is dangerous, and the agency recommends outlets be taken out of service at 20 ppb or higher. The sink in the LOJ kitchen that was removed earlier this summer tested at 34 ppb. The fixture in the boys locker room tested at 29.3 ppb, according to results processed by Alexin Analytical Laboratories of Tigard.

District staff collected samples from “every fixture that could be used to fill a water bottle, drinking fountains, hand washing stations and deep sinks” at LOJ, according to communications director Nancy Duin.

The 16 samples with detectable levels all were under 15 ppb: 8.3 ppb, 5.2 ppb, 3.7 ppb, 3.3 ppb, 4.7 ppb, 6.1 ppb, 14.4 ppb, 2.4 ppb, 8.6 ppb, 5.7 ppb, 9.8 ppb, 2.7 ppb, two at 2.1 ppb, 3.1 ppb and 3.2 ppb.

— The Review