© 2023 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bethel Schools To Open For Academic Year Following Lead Testing

A technician with PBS Engineering   Environmental tests water samples for the Bethel School District in June.
Bethel School District
/
A technician with PBS Engineering Environmental tests water samples for the Bethel School District in June.

An official with Bethel School District in Eugene says recent lead testing has proven the majority of its water sources are safe, and schools will open come September.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

A technician with PBS Engineering   Environmental tests water samples for the Bethel School District in June.
Credit Bethel School District
/
A technician with PBS Engineering Environmental tests water samples for the Bethel School District in June.

Bethel district spokesman Pat McGillivray says they proactively tested their schools and other buildings in late June.  He says so far, the results have been "scattershot" for fountains or sinks with higher than allowable lead levels. 

“Some schools have one or two, some have none, some have a dozen," explains McGillivray.  "So we identify those sites, do a retest on the water after a five-minute flush of the water system to determine whether that lead is coming from deep within the system or right there at the fixture.”

McGillivray adds until the water tests fine, the fixtures are removed and the water shut off so people can’t use it. 

Of the results so far, Cascade Middle School had the highest number of sites, with 12 fountains or sinks with high lead levels. That’s followed by Clear Lake Elementary, which had four. 

Drinking fountain.
Credit Brian Bull
/
Drinking fountain.

The other buildings in Bethel School District have had one or no water sources with elevated levels.

Updates can be found on the district’s home page.

Copyright 2016 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.