By Keli James, PR communications coordinatorLead water pipe

Oregon water systems will become more transparent about lead in drinking water, including the location of lead service lines and the results of mandatory tests.

In a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Lynne Saxton outlined several steps the state will take to comply with EPA’s request of all state regulators to submit information about how they are complying with federal lead regulations.

“We learned through this effort that some lead service pipes were used in the past in Oregon, and that these were primarily lead “goosenecks” limited to several feet in length that connected the water main to the service line,” Saxton wrote.

In an email, written to Gov. Kate Brown, Saxton said she is particularly concerned about schools, since schools that receive water from public systems do not have to test for lead.

“We also recognize the need to conduct renewed outreach to water suppliers on lead and copper rule requirements generally, given that many years have passed since initial implementation,” Saxton wrote.

To ensure residents receive prompt information on high lead levels in their drinking water systems, OHA also will improve its website, by June 1.