The Oregon Health Authority releases tools to access school water testing results
by Vera Westbrook, originally posted on December 24, 2016
State health and education officials have launched a database for accessing water test results for lead in Oregon schools. The tool provides an interactive map of Oregon and displays results for school buildings across the state.
The mapping tool acts as a one-time source for sharing information as schools transition from providing test results on their websites to submitting Healthy and Safe School Facilities plans to the Oregon Department of Education in 2017.
State officials acknowledge that lead testing data is technical and can be difficult to understand, so they are providing a FAQ to help translate and decipher testing results and a video tutorial for how to use the map.
The information is scheduled to remain online until the end of the 2016-17 school year and is not intended to replace communication with schools.
While state agencies do not have statutory authority to mandate testing for lead in school drinking water, it has been strongly recommended that all schools test their facilities.
The state’s Early Learning Council has convened a work group to examine strategies for reducing lead exposure in child care facilities and is scheduled to provide a recommendation regarding testing next month.