Local schools do test for lead, but at least one found high levels


Washington school districts get to decide for themselves whether to test drinking water for lead.

The state health department changed the rules in 2009, but lawmakers have never put the estimated $5 million statewide testing cost into the state budget. So a patchwork exists.

The Associated Press asked all 295 Washington school districts plus tribal districts whether they test for lead in the water. Of the 174 districts that responded to AP, nearly 40 percent said they do not do test for lead. Most big, well-funded districts test their water. Many small ones do not.

And of the 106 that reported they do lead testing, 28 districts started after the Tacoma Public Schools revealed last month that 13 of its elementary schools have tested positive for lead in drinking water.

The Hoquiam School District tells KXRO that all of their schools have been tested. All grade schools through grant funding were tested in 2005 , the Middle School in 2004, and the High School was tested in 1999, 2003, 2004. During tests at Lincoln Elementary it showed that their water exceeded MCL(Maximum Contaminant Level) drinking at mg.1 at 0.70. Superintendent Mike Parker says that the fix for the school was to replace a “bubbler head” at the facility.

The Aberdeen School District tells KXRO that the district is familiar with the Water Quality Monitoring requirements that will go into effect in July 2017 and their schools have begun preparations to be in compliance.

They tell KXRO that they have water filtration systems in place throughout the district, although they do not currently conduct regular testing for lead.

In the report, it shows that South Bend Schools began testing for lead in the wake of the Tacoma findings.

No other Grays Harbor or Pacific County Schools responded to the Associated Press request.


Here are the schools that started testing this spring, in the wake of the Tacoma water situation:

Asotin-Anatone, Asotin County
Bethel, Pierce County
Cle Elum-Roslyn, Kittitas County
Entiat, Chelan County
Enumclaw, King County
Ephrata, Grant County
Fife, Pierce County
Kennewick, Benton County
Lynden, Whatcom County
Medical Lake, Spokane County
Mercer Island, King County
Morton, Lewis County
Moses Lake, Grant County
North Thurston, Thurston County
Onalaska, Lewis County
Pe Ell, Lewis County
Puyallup, Pierce County
Selah, Yakima County
South Bend, Pacific County
Spokane, Spokane County
Tahoma, King County
Toutle, Cowlitz County
University Place, Pierce County
Vancouver, Clark County
Walla Walla, Walla Walla County
White River, Pierce County
Woodland, Cowlitz County
Zillah, Yakima County

Among the school districts that test for lead, those that have found actionable levels of lead in school drinking water from at least one source, include the following:

Auburn, King County
Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County
Central Kitsap, Kitsap County
Ellensburg, Kittitas County
Everett, Snohomish County
Federal Way, King County
Highline, King County
Hoquiam, Grays Harbor County
Index, Snohomish County
Lake Stevens, Snohomish County
Marysville, Snohomish County
Mount Adams, Yakima County
Mukilteo, Snohomish County
Oak Harbor, Island County
Olympia, Thurston County
Republic, Ferry County
Seattle, King County
Snoqualmie Valley, King County
Tacoma, Pierce County



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