October 30, 2018:
Dear Pullman Public Schools Community:
In 2017, the Legislature directed the Washington State Department of Health to test for lead in drinking water in public schools in an effort to reduce children’s overall exposure to lead in the environment. As part of our commitment to ensuring the health of our students and staff is protected, we recently participated in this program.
What did we learn?
Between October 10-18, water samples were taken from every fixture that provides drinking water to students or staff, or is used to prepare food, in all five schools. The testing was done prior to the school day before students were in the building.
Where are these fixtures located?
It should be noted that these are isolated fixtures, we are pleased that none of our schools has widespread elevated lead levels. This means that any occurrence of lead is due to the fixture, not the pipes in the school. In an effort to be cautious, we will be replacing any fixture with a ppb over ten, which includes all fixtures listed below.
The specific fixture locations:
What are we doing?
Why is lead a problem?
Children are exposed to lead from a variety of sources in their environments. Exposure sources include dust from old, deteriorating lead paint, contaminated soil, take-home exposures from parents who work in certain industries, and many others. Each of these sources contribute to the amount of lead in the bodies of children.
It is important to reduce exposure from every source as much as possible. Children six years old and younger are the most susceptible to the effects of lead. Their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Even at very low levels of exposure to lead, children may experience effects including lower IQ levels, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, poor classroom performance, or other harmful physical and behavioral effects.
How can I learn more?
The full results of our water testing can be found on our website at www.pullmanschools.org, under District/Water Quality in our Schools. For more information about testing, please visit the Department of Health’s website at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/DrinkingWater/Contaminants/Lead/LeadinSchools/Results.