(Ashland, Ore.) — Following news that lead has been found in the water supply of some schools and cities around the state and region, Southern Oregon University has begun testing buildings on its main Ashland campus for lead in the water.
Priority testing was conducted in the buildings on campus that house childcare centers, including the Schneider Children’s Center and Community Preschool at SOU, which is located in the University’s Education/Psychology Building. SOU will test water in every building on campus that was constructed prior to the year 2000. All tests are scheduled to be completed prior to the start of fall term.
While the majority of tests found no elevated lead levels in the water, there were elevated levels in a couple of places: 1. Two drinking fountains in the Education/Psychology Building tested beyond the EPA standard; and 2. Water from a sink in the preschool was found to have lead levels within the EPA standard, but still elevated. We have taken immediate and corrective actions. These fountains and sink have been closed and additional testing is being conducted.
Because the elevated results were localized, it is believed that the lead present in the water is coming from the fixtures, not the water supply. The fixtures for the water fountains and sink are being replaced. Testing will be conducted to ensure that no elevated lead levels are present in the water before the fountains and sink are used again.
As more comprehensive testing of campus buildings proceeds throughout the summer, any results indicating lead levels beyond the EPA standard will be immediately communicated to the campus community. Any lead fixtures or pipes that are found will be replaced and water will continue to be monitored to ensure the health and safety of the campus community.
Full results from the testing can be found at www.sou/edu/ehs. These results will be updated as testing continues.
Southern Oregon University gets its water from the City of Ashland, which recently conducted tests for lead and found no concerns.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.