High lead levels in 28 Hillsboro School District schools

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- Twenty-eight schools in the Hillsboro School District showed high lead levels after the district received results from lead testing conducted during the summer.

After collecting 6,000 lead testing samples from 3,500 outlets in the Hillsboro School District, the initial results show a total of 299 with high results, including 22 classified as double positives.

Schools with the highest number of high lead level tests on the first draw included Evergreen Middle School (47), Glencoe High School (43) and Hilhi High School (37).

MORE INFO: Full testing results for each school

A double positive is when the first draw and flush samples were both higher than the recommended action level of 20 parts per billion (ppb) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Here are the locations where double-positive results were found:

  • Farmington View Elementary School -- East baseball field drinking fountain behind backstop (25.4 ppb)
  • Indian Hills Elementary School -- Gym storage area sink (68.2 ppb)
  • McKinney Elementary School -- Instructional materials center, center sink faucet (21 ppb)
  • Mooberry Elementary School -- Exterior hose bib, north wall near west end of building (25.7 ppb)
  • Brown Middle School -- Showerhead in girls locker room (28.8 ppb); drinking fountain in girls locker room (26.8 ppb); drinking fountain in boys locker room (36.4 ppb); boiler room sink (48.9 ppb); drinking fountain in student store (25.9 ppb); science room Y2, sink 6, cold only faucet (85.7 ppb)
  • Evergreen Middle School -- Science room 23, sink 7 (20.4 ppb); science room 24, sink 6 (579 ppb); room 38 sink (38.4 ppb); room 14, LRC, sink (44.4 ppb)
  • Poynter Middle School -- Storage room between rooms 25 and 26, sink (20.2 ppb); room 25, sink 4 (22.7 ppb)
  • Miller Education Center West -- Main building, science room 119, hand wash sink at restroom (143 ppb)
  • Hilhi -- Math/Science room 11, lab sink #7 (27.4 ppb); exterior hose bib, east side of Social Studies building (23 ppb); exterior hose bib, west side of Language Arts building (34 ppb); exterior hose bib, north side of Drama & Arts building (26 ppb); exterior hose bib, north side of Health Education/Gym (81 ppb)

There were also some locations where no flush sample was taken because of the age of the building or the location of the outlets. The following is a list of all of those locations:

  • Imlay Elementary School, two exterior hose bibs
  • Orenco Elementary School, mop sink
  • Patterson Elementary School, kitchen fill spigot
  • Liberty High School, two kitchen faucets, a science room lab sink, a sink faucet in the second floor women's restroom, and an exterior hose bib

Each of those locations will have the fixtures replaced and the water resampled. Once testing results are below the EPA's action level, the outlets will be returned to service.

Notification has been sent to school staff, students and families via postings on the district website, email and automated phone calls.

The district, in collaboration with their School-based Health Center at Century High School, said it will cover the cost of lead testing for any student or staff member. Call 503-597-4580 for more information or two schedule an appointment.

The next steps for the district are to complete fixture replacements, investigate locations where flush test results were higher than the action level, retest indicated outlets and create a schedule for follow-up testing.

Testing process

The testing, conducted by the school district starting in the early spring of 2016, consisted of a first draw sample of water that sat in the pipe between 8 and 18 hours, followed by a 30-second flush test.

If the first draw sample showed lead content higher than the EPA's recommended action level, the district would close access to the fixture and test the flush sample. If the flush sample came back lower than the action level, the district determined the lead was in the fixture itself and not in the water supply or pipes leading to the outlet. In those cases, the fixture could be replaced and the outlet returned to service.

If the flush sample showed lead content higher than the action level, the lead was determined to be coming from deeper in the piping system, calling for additional investigation to determine the source of the lead. In those cases, fixtures were removed and the water source capped to allow for more investigation.


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