CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has tested water from nearly 40 Corvallis campus buildings for lead and copper levels following news that lead had been found in some Portland-area schools.
All preliminary tests for office and classroom buildings included in the test group came back with good results. Most facilities, including both campus daycare buildings, showed no to very low detectable elements in the water.
More comprehensive testing will be done throughout the Corvallis campus to continue to monitor the health and safety of the campus community. The testing should be finished by early August.
Testing was done in June in all University Housing and Dining buildings. Nearly all of the buildings met safety standards. In one residence hall, Poling Hall, water from one floor kitchen sink and three showers exceeded acceptable levels for lead; and three sinks and two showers within the hall showed elevated levels, but did not exceed the acceptable levels for lead. To provide for full safety, OSU has shutoff water to those fixtures until repairs are made.
Benton County Health Department officials say that the health effects for adults would be negligible given the borderline levels of lead found and the fact that the sinks and showers were not a primary water source for drinking.
OSU is required to make repairs to pipes and fixtures when safety levels are exceeded. Following repairs in Poling Hall, sampling will be conducted to ensure the problem has been resolved. This issue appears to be fixture-specific, but water will be turned off to the affected fixtures until the issue is resolved.
Dan Kermoyan, assistant director of OSU Environmental Health and Safety, said testing of other Oregon State-owned facilities, including Extension offices, experiment and research stations, as well as the university’s Bend and Newport campuses, will be completed by early September.
Details on the June testing report are available online, at http://oregonstate.edu/ehs/2016-drinking-water-quality-report