Water tests positive for lead at LBCC

Water tests positive for lead at LBCC
Photo by : Elliot Pond | LB student Nick Novac gets hydrated between classes.
Water tests positive for lead at LBCC
Photo by : Elliot Pond | LB student Nick Novac gets hydrated between classes.

Lead in the Water!

Linn-Benton Community College has tested positive for unhealthy amounts of lead at the Albany, Lebanon, and Corvallis locations.

Eight sinks amongst the campuses exceeded Environmental Protection Agency actionable levels. To be considered “actionable” the water must test at lead concentrations exceeding an action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb).

According to a news release written by Lori Fluge-Brunker, LBCC tested 171 water sources where individuals may drink water across all campuses. Five sinks did not pass the lead testing within the Albany campus, two sinks on the Lebanon Downtown campus, and one in the basement of the Corvallis campus.

“We had eight out of 171 tested sinks show an elevated level of lead,” said Dave Stowell, Executive Director, Institutional Advancement of LBCC. “Five of the eight faucets have already been replaced, of the three that are remaining we are waiting for parts to be reordered on one, the other two should be done pretty soon; we expect them all to be done September 30th.”

LBCC tested their water due to many educational establishments testing positive for high concentrations of lead in their water supply.

“The testing will take place once they are all done on September 30th, and after this it takes about three weeks for the test results to come back, so once we have results that say the issue has been addressed, they’ll be reopened” said Stowell.

High levels of lead have been appearing all over the state of Oregon, but started appearing originally in Portland schools. Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech civil engineering professor who helped expose the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, believes the lead crisis is due to the Bull Run Watershed, Portland’s main water supply. Other concerned parties, such as the Brass Plumbing Company, believe it is the fixture itself that is causing the lead levels to appear higher than preferable in the water supply.

The Brass Plumbing Company was not available for comment.

LBCC plans to open the sinks to the public once they are replumbed by the Brass Plumbing Company and retested in the next few weeks.

Article by Hannah Buffington. Photo by Elliot Pond.