FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2016
CONTACT: Alfredo Gonzalez, Sustainablity Affairs Director, 916.878.7260 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Unsafe Levels of Lead, Iron, and Manganese in Drinking Water at PSU Warrant Further Investigation
ASPSU is holding a meeting concerning unsafe levels of lead, iron, and manganese found in Cramer Hall. The purpose of this press release is to inform the public about concerning levels of trace metals within Portland State University’s drinking water distribution system, and to invite the student body, the public, and university administrators to attend this meeting and help address the issue.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates the amount of lead allowed in a public drinking water supply at 15 parts per billion (15 ppb). Levels of lead as high as 96 ppb have been detected in Cramer Hall by now alumni Emma Prichard and the department of Environmental Health and Safety. These levels of lead are due to deteriorating lead fixtures and plumbing, installed during the construction of the building in 1955. The City of Portland is responsible for drinking water until it passes through the water meter below Cramer Hall. Past the water meter, Portland State University is responsible for maintaining levels of lead below 15 ppb. Because Portland State is not meeting standards, they are violating the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Oregon Drinking Water Quality Act, requiring a treatment technique immediately.
In addition to lead contamination, iron and manganese contamination has also been detected above EPA Secondary Standards in Cramer Hall and XSB. SDWA secondary standards are voluntary, unless enforced by the states. Oregon does not enforce iron or manganese regulations. Despite the lack of state enforcement, these contaminants cause the water to taste metallic, appear cloudy or discolored, and can still be a health risk.
Please attend this Senate meeting in SMSU 296/8 to find out more about water quality violations in Cramer Hall on February 17th, 2016 at 5:30pm.