Jul 07, 2021

Lead in Water Found at University of Oregon's Hendricks Hall

The sites include two drinking fountains and one water faucet.

drinking fountain

The University of Oregon found three sites of lead contamination in Hendricks Hall water sources on June 4.

The sites include two drinking fountains and one water faucet, reported The Daily Emerald. The drinking fountains contained 23.6 and 15.4 ppb, according to the report, and the faucet registered <2 ppb. 

According to Adam Jones, the building environmental science manager at the university, the university is not required to test its buildings for lead water and instead has been doing this voluntarily since 2016, reported The Daily Emerald. According to Jones, he is unaware of the presence of lead piping on campus, but there may be lead presences in fixtures, angle stops and flex piping.

Oregon SB 1062 requires public schools to do water testing but there is no state or federal law that requires water testing at universities. The university is only required to test the water of the two childcare facilities on campus.

The U.S. EPA requires the Eugene Water and Electric Board to sample all of the water used on the campus, according to university spokesperson Saul Hubbard, reported The Daily Emerald.

According to a report, the university maintenance team conducted procedural corrections to avoid further contamination, but this was unsuccessful for one of the water fountains, which was turned off as a result.

When a lead confirmation pops up, the university turns off that water source and alerts students that may have been exposed, supplying an alternate water source to the area.

On June 26, the Oregon legislature approved the university’s request for $58.5 million to replace all plumbing lines in the buildings and update the buildings to fit Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, reported The Daily Emerald.

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