The Portland Public Schools District is facing the wrath of angry and frustrated parents, following the May 27 announcement that the school’s water supply was tested and revealed high levels of lead.
The water supply fo more than 90 schools in the district tested in March 2015 and of those 90, 47 tested positive for higher than normal levels of lead. Parents received notification in May after the school began using bottled water for all food-related purposes and serving students bottled water to drink.
Frustrated parents questioned the school district after learning that the water never disabled from the fountains or faucets at the school. What may have frustrated parents, even more, is when they learned that the PPSD may have known about the issue years ago.
The PPSD tested the water supply at dozens of schools in the past but did not publicly share the results. Testing that occurred from 2010 through 2012 revealed that more than half of the district’s schools water exceeded the EPA recommend guideline of 15 parts per billion. Parents and residents have demanded answers, and like Flint, the reason behind the contamination was a corrosive water supply.
The city of Portland receives its water supply from the Bull Run Watershed is corrosive. The Portland Water Bureau attempted to curb the lead contamination by treating the water with chemicals, but residents responded with apprehension and hesitation.
The PPSD has offered two lead screening clinics, free to enrolled students.