Concerning Levels of Lead found in Salem Water Pipes
As of Aug. 29, 22 out of the 42 schools in the Salem-Keizer School District tested positive for high levels of lead. North, South, McKay, McNary,and Sprague high schools were affected, as well as many elementary and middle schools. All contaminated fixtures have either been replaced or eliminated from use.
The Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] defines the maximum level of lead allowed in water before action must be taken as 20 parts per billion. However, the Salem-Keizer district requires action to be taken at 15 parts per billion.
“At South Salem High there are 2 locations above the SKPS action level of 15 PPB [Parts Per Billion] for lead, and no locations above the action level for copper. These locations have been taken out of service and labeled. TRC has been directed to have the “B” samples for these locations analyzed.” The school district wrote on their website about the water testing done over the summer.
“It’s a bit disconcerting, I’m wondering how long it’s been going on. No one at the school has said anything to me about what they’ve found or how dangerous it could possibly be. No one’s really talking about it, so I hope that someone would take the liberty to do that.” Madeleine O’Donnell ‘19 said.
Students concerned with drinking contaminated water can buy bottled water from either Mr. Hughes or the vending machines in the lower commons.