IMESD Releases Results of Testing for Lead in Water

Release Date: 

This summer, the InterMountain Education Service District (IMESD) tested drinking water sites at all of its buildings that are used by students for the potential presence of lead. These buildings included the main IMESD building in Pendleton, Lifeways Day Treatment Center in Pendleton, Punkin Center in Hermiston, the Joseph Building in La Grande, the Baker City Learning Center in Baker City and Outdoor School sites. Results from two companies, Table Rock Analytical Lab in Pendleton and Magic Valley Labs in Twin Falls, Idaho indicate that all sites were below the acceptable EPA limit.

The IMESD joined school districts across eastern Oregon who are testing their drinking water this summer. Currently, there are no state or federal requirements for schools to test drinking water for lead, and it has not been a practice in the past. In mid May, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) created a plan regarding lead in school water. The plan requests all school districts that get drinking water from public water systems test for lead in school buildings; requires districts to use certified drinking water testing labs to process the water samples; asks ODE and OHA to develop a method for schools to report results to OHA; and for OHA to provide drinking water expertise to schools for support as they test.

Many schools receive their water from community or city water systems. These public water systems regularly test the water and many already treat the water to help reduce corrosion of plumbing. However, lead that is present in pipes and fixtures in building plumbing can enter the water at the tap and expose those who drink it --- that is why sampling and testing for lead at each tap is important.

“The IMESD is pleased to report that water at our facilities used by students does not contain harmful lead levels. We will continue to monitor this and keep communicating to our parents and communities,” said Mark Mulvihill, IMESD superintendent.

Results are available upon request at the IMESD Pendleton headquarters located at 2001 SW Nye Avenue, Pendleton, 541-276-6616. For questions or more information about the IMESD water testing contact Michele Madril, Director of Communication and Print Solutions, at 541-966-3115.

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