It remains unclear when the Aberdeen School District will turn drinking faucets back on at four schools the state found to have slightly elevated lead concentrations. Superintendent Alicia Henderson said state officials are working to expedite final results by next week.
“Once those results are known, we can determine next steps,” said Henderson, who added that more voluntary testing is being done this week before final results come back. “We’re really working to establish what’s the source of the lead.”
In final test results, Henderson said the district would know whether it’s the faucets themselves or water pipes connecting to them that are causing the increased lead and would need to be replaced.
Last week, the district turned off faucets after receiving preliminary results from the Washington Department of Health’s voluntary lead tests. It found that the Hopkins Building (Harbor High), Central Park, Stevens and A.J. West elementary schools all had the slightly raised amounts.
In the meantime, safe drinking water has been made available to students with either bottled water or access to the clean and more newly-built water bottle filling stations. These schools’ kitchens were also given clean water for cooking.
These state tests were only performed on the drinking fountains and not the bathroom sinks that were kept on.
“We welcome the questions that have been posed by staff and community members and thank everyone for understanding the solution will not occur overnight,” said Henderson. “We will continue to share information as it becomes available.”