By Scott Hammers

The Bulletin

Seven of the 155 water outlets tested by the Bend Park & Recreation District this summer showed elevated levels of lead, but none is believed to be a danger to public health.

None of the sites where lead was detected is frequently used or a source of drinking water, and in all cases, the lead was determined to be coming from the plumbing fixture itself rather than the pipes or the water supply, according to a presentation that will be shared with district board members Tuesday.

Federal guidelines set the maximum concentration level for lead in drinking water at 20 parts per billion, while the Oregon Health Authority puts it at 15 parts per billion.

Sites where lead was detected above the maximum concentration level include the umpires’ shower at Vince Genna Stadium, a janitorial sink at the old administration building in Pacific Park, hose bibs at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, Tillicum Ranch, and the Shevlin Park caretaker’s house, and a bypass valve on the pool water supply at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center.

The district paid $3,645 for the sample collection and testing, which was performed between late July and mid-August.

Occupants of the buildings where elevated lead levels were detected have been advised not to consume water from the affected fixtures. The district expects it will be able to correct the problem by replacing the fixtures with newer models.

Lead was frequently used in plumbing fixtures and plumbing solder prior to the 1980s.

When consumed in sufficient quantities lead can cause a variety of health problems, including neurological problems, elevated blood pressure, kidney disease and heart diseases.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387, shammers@bendbulletin.com

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