PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the first time in more than a year, some Portland Public School students are allowed to drink from school water fountains — including Astor School.
Astor had their fountains replaced after their previous ones were shut off due to lead in the water. The newly replaced fixtures were turned on Wednesday after they were replaced in September.
Astor was one of the first schools across the district to get the replacement fountains.
Drinking water fixtures have been turned off since May 2016 after water tests showed high lead levels in school drinking water in all, but one school. Fountains were shut off and bottled water was brought in for drinking and cooking at a cost of $1 million.
The district will have to change more than 10,000 fountains and faucets in just about every school — beginning with the elementary and K-8 schools to get the lead out of the drinking water.
The district is able to replace the fixtures by using bond money approved by voters this past May.
The first group of schools to have fixtures replaced includes: Lewis, Woodstock, Chapman, Skyline, West Sylvan, Atkinson, Richmond, Rose City Park, Sacajawea, Beverly Cleary/Fernwood, Applegate, Chief Joseph, Meek, and Hayhurst. Chapman will be the next school to come back online, likely later this week.
Bathroom and classroom sinks will not be replaced at this time, and will remain marked as off-limits to students. The district may even keep them permanently shut off due to the cost.