Check the Status of the Water at Your School
Portland Public Schools continues to make progress on returning school drinking fixtures to service. Each school is different, and each fixture must be tested and re-tested before we can label it safe for drinking. To find out the status of the common area fixtures at schools across the district, click on this chart and this schedule for when future work will be accomplished. We are now including a chart for the additional work done on classroom fixtures. These documents will be updated on a regular basis.
Water Quality Work Moving Ahead
PPS has now replaced and brought back online the majority of drinking fountains and kitchen faucets in the common areas of most schools. These faucets now meet or exceed PPS water quality standards which are better than those mandated by the EPA. Project teams are proceeding to replace in-classroom drinking fountains in schools and facilities where younger students rely on those fixtures. The use of bottled water has already dropped significantly saving the district thousands of dollars and more fixtures are being returned to service weekly.
Work on In-Classroom drinking fixtures is also underway.
Many existing in-classroom drinking fountains originally tested below the PPS action level of 15ppb for lead. In order to bring more drinking fixtures back on line as soon as possible the district is now retesting those fixtures. If they again test below the action levels they will be returned to service. That work is underway now and we expect to have all the classroom faucets that test safe to be back on by the end of December.
A step by step plan to ensure high water quality
The water quality strategy is to first replace the common area fixtures in all schools. Once the new fixtures are in place, the water will be tested for lead and copper. If results continue to show unacceptable levels of lead and copper, the next step could include pipe replacement in the interior of walls. If the next water test continues to show unacceptable levels, trenching and replacing the source line that comes into the school would follow. Again, the water would be tested and if it fails the next step is to replace the backflow preventer that connects the school to the City of Portland water supply line.
PPS Is Replacing Only Drinking Water Fixtures
PPS defines a drinking fixture as drinking fountains and kitchen food preparation fixtures. Drinking fountains include bubblers, coolers, and bottle fill stations in both common areas and classrooms*. Kitchen food preparation fixtures include kitchen faucets, sprayers, faucets in career and technical education (CTE) classrooms, and faucets in staff lounges or lunch rooms.
The new water test results for individual schools can be found at the PPS Healthy and Safe Schools website. Click on the water quality link, scroll down to your school and click on the 2017 results PDF.
Timeline Fall 2016 - Present
In June, 2016 PPS assembled a team of experts including CH2M, an internationally recognized leader in creating water quality solutions, to address the district wide water quality problems in schools. The team began with field surveys to evaluate and test fixtures in every school. They identified the fixtures that need replacing and prepared a cost estimate. After passage of the May 2017 bond the team rolled out a plan for district-wide fixture replacement, hired contractors to perform the work and developed a set of strict standard operating procedures for performing the work. The team has focused on replacing common area fixtures in schools across the district, many of which were turned back on during the first week of school. Work continues on the remaining common area classroom fixtures with more coming online every week.
WATER QUALITY PROGRAM STATUS TABLE
The district has created this datebase to provide the status of all the common area fixtures at each school. It is linked to a schedule that shows when the remaining work is expected to be completed. Click on this chart and this schedule for when future work will be accomplished. We are now including a chart for the additional work done on classroom fixtures. These documents will be updated on a regular basis.