Longview School District is committed to a safe environment for our students and staff members.
After learning that lead was discovered in the drinking water of other schools in the region and across the country, the district began testing its school water sources.
Beginning in early June, district personnel targeted two schools per week, drawing samples from all consumable water sources and sending them to the ALS Environmental laboratory in Kelso. Due to the high level of interest in testing, results are taking approximately five weeks to return and are posted as they become available. The final testing was completed July 22.
As results became available this summer, any location that had readings higher than the EPA’s recommended action level was turned off and marked as out of service. Samples were drawn and submitted for retests—the most recent of which were returned to the district Nov. 8.
In areas with continued high readings, the water fixtures were replaced and retested. If the location continued to test above action levels, additional work ensued. For example, first the bubbler portion of a drinking fountain was replaced, second, the entire fountain would be replaced, and third, supply lines to the fixture would be replaced. If no action remedies the situation, the outlet will be placed out of service permanently. As of Nov. 14, seven locations require attention and re-testing before returning them to service.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended action level for lead in drinking water is 20 parts per billion (ppb), also expressed as 20 micrograms per liter (µg/L).
Lead testing shows that nearly all of the water sources in Longview Public Schools’ facilities are significantly below the EPA action level. The few water sources that tested higher have been disabled while the district determines the source of the high lead content and addresses the problem.
We understand families have concerns about the potential health impacts of lead in drinking water. However, the Washington State Department of Health indicates that most exposure to lead comes from dust and chips from paint removal, contaminated soil, industrial sources, and materials used at worksites and in hobbies.
For more information about lead, its health impacts, and exposure prevention, visit the Washington State Department of Health website on lead contamination: