• Water Quality Graphic

  • 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. Project teams also replaced many in-classroom drinking fountains in schools and facilities where younger students rely on those fixtures. The use of bottled water has dropped significantly saving the district thousands of dollars.

    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 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.

    View test results for individual schools
    Test results for individual schools can be found at the PPS Healthy and Safe Schools website. Click on this water quality link, scroll down to your school and click on the 2018-2019 results PDF.

    Many in-classroom drinking fixtures have also been brought back online.
    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 retested those fixtures.  If the test results were below PPS action levels they were returned to service.  Nearly 700 in-classroom fixtures were returned to service.

    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.

    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 common area 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.

    Pilot Water Quality program seeks to lower lead levels to 1ppb.
    The Water Quality Team is conducting a pilot study in six schools that could potentially lower bond capital costs while substantially lowering lead levels in our schools’ drinking water to around 1 part per billion.  The program is something no other school district in Oregon is doing!  This innovation project utilizes a limited number of strategically located drinking water stations (DWS), each fitted with a highly effective lead filter to provide filtered water to a bottle filler and one or more bubblers. The schools were selected based on having at least 15 drinking fixtures that still tested above 15 ppb for lead after their fixtures were replaced. Those schools are Arleta, Duniway, Jefferson, Llewellyn, Rigler and Robert Gray. For more information visit the Water quality pilot program webpage.