We are committed to ongoing inspections and testing for lead, radon and asbestos as part of our preventative maintenance plan. Find out when, where and how we test.

Lead

Radon

Asbestos

What’s required

The Bruce Speight Protect Children from Being Exposed to Lead in School Drinking Water Act, effective July 25, 2021, requires schools to test for the presence of lead in drinking water outlets in schools built, or with all plumbing replaced, before 2016. The action level is 5 parts per billion (ppb). Inspection/testing is not required by the state; however, the Environmental Protection Agency’s action level for radon is 4.0 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The Environmental Protection Agency requires inspection/testing and management of asbestos under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, or AHERA.

What we do

Samples are obtained using sampling methods prescribed by the Washington state Department of Health. These samples are analyzed by a third-party laboratory certified in testing for lead values in water. VPS utilizes short-term test kits to conduct initial and follow-up testing.

Long-term test kits may be utilized in areas where room results are between 4.0 pCi/L and 8 pCi/L. These results may best represent the average concentration for the school year in that room.

VPS conducts certified inspections and periodic checks as part of a larger plan, which also includes:

  • Assessment reports
  • Training program for personnel
  • Plans and procedures to minimize the disturbance of materials containing asbestos

When we test

Testing has been ongoing since 2016 and takes place throughout the calendar year. We are currently evaluating all results obtained between 2016 and 2021 against the requirements of the new action level. Primary testing occurs between January and March of each school year. Test kits are placed during the school week.
    • Periodic surveillance inspections two times per year
    • Three-year reinspection completed by third-party vendor
    • Periodic inspection and sampling completed by a certified AHERA building inspector as needed or requested

Where we test

VPS tests for lead in water in the following school locations:

  • Drinking fountains
  • Kitchen taps
  • Classroom taps
  • Outdoor hose bibs used by athletes
Testing occurs in all frequently occupied rooms in contact with the ground and spaces above crawlspaces or basements. Schools built after 1989 have been certified as being free of asbestos. Testing occurs at schools and locations built prior to 1989.

How we test

Our goal is to test 20% of district locations each year over a five-year period.

  • Potable water sources with results greater than or equal to 5 ppb are removed from service, replaced and retested.
  • Fixtures are not placed back into service until the mitigation process is complete and results are less than 5 ppb.
All schools undergo testing. Our goal is to test 20% of each school over a five-year period.

  • Schools that have a mitigation system will undergo annual testing for the life of the system.
  • Initial results of 4.0 pCi/L or greater undergo an immediate follow-up test.
  • Subsequent results of 4.0 pCi/L will initiate mitigation including, but not limited to, heating/cooling system corrections.
  • Per industry standard, ventilation systems may be installed in areas where radon can’t be reduced with heating/cooling systems.
  • Periodic surveillance inspection: A visual inspection only; testing for asbestos is required if presumed asbestos are noted within the inspection report as damaged. All damaged items may be addressed by encapsulation or removal.
  • Three-year reinspection: Samples are taken from areas that have become damaged since the last inspection or reinspection. All damaged items may be addressed by encapsulation or removal.
  • Periodic inspection and sampling: Samples are taken from areas where suspected asbestos containing materials are identified. All damaged items may be addressed by encapsulation or removal.

When and how families and staff are notified

Families will be informed annually of tests planned for the school year.

  • Once testing is completed, an action plan will be drafted to address levels greater than or equal to 5 ppb. The action plan will be shared with the school community for comment.
  • Another communication will be sent once mitigation is completed, and we learn that the results are below the allowable limit
  • All results will be posted to the district website.
Families will be informed annually of tests planned for the school year.

Notification will be sent after testing has been completed and we learn whether the results are below the allowable limit or we have resolved the issue.

Families will be informed annually of tests planned for the school year.

Notification will be sent within 10 business days of the district learning whether or not results require further action (mitigation).

Where to find more information

EPA: Basic information about lead in drinking water (external link) 

CDC: Health effects of lead exposure (external link)

WA Department of Health: Lead in School Drinking Water (external link) 

WA Department of Health: Radon (external link)

EPA: Radon in Schools (external link)

EPA: Health Risk of Radon (external link)

EPA: Asbestos and School Buildings (external link)

WA Department of Health: Asbestos (external link)

See more results

Google Translate

Go to Top