School district water supply passes lead test

By Oliver Lazenby

Blaine school district staff didn’t find any problems with the water in school drinking fountains and other fixtures after testing for lead this summer, superintendent Ron Spanjer said at the August 22 school board meeting.

“All the samples have been well within the acceptable limits,” Spanjer said. “We were encouraged by that.”

The district tested water from kitchen sinks, hallway drinking fountains and classroom drinking fountains to get an overall view of the district’s supply system. The sampling is voluntary, as state rules for lead testing have been on hold since 2009, district facilities supervisor Alan Pomeroy said in a May memo to the school board.

Blaine and many other school districts reviewed their lead testing procedures this year after the Tacoma school district, the second largest in the state, found lead in 13 of its elementary schools, according to the Seattle Times.

Childhood lead exposure increases risks for hearing, speech, learning and behavior problems; brain and nervous system damage; and slowed growth and development, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Lead typically leaches into water from plumbing, rather than directly from the water source, according to the CDC. The city of Blaine tests its water annually and the latest annual report showed no indications of lead issues, Pomeroy said.

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