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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Lead-in-Water Testing for Portland Water Bureau Child Care Providers

Beginning in 2018, all licensed child care providers in Oregon are required to test their water for lead.  The Portland Water Bureau provides free lead-in-water testing to its customers that are child care providers. Information on testing requirements, ordering test kits, and the testing process are detailed below.

 Child Care Testing Requirements

Ordering Testing through the Portland Water Bureau

Information about Portland’s Child Care Testing Program

Child Care Testing Requirements

 

What am I required to do under the new rules?

The Early Learning Division passed new rules in February 2018 that require all licensed child care providers to test their drinking water for lead and submit results to the state by September 30, 2018. There are several requirements outlined in the rules, including which faucets and fixtures child care providers must test, how to collect samples, and what actions to take once the provider receives results from the testing. Licensed providers may find these requirements on the Early Learning Division’s website or by contacting the Early Learning Division at cheyenne.gardner@state.or.us or 503-947-5908. 

Is the Portland Water Bureau providing testing that meets the state requirements?

Yes, the Portland Water Bureau is providing free testing that meets the State’s requirements. The state requires only licensed child care providers to test their water, but this testing is available to all Portland Water Bureau customers that are licensed, unlicensed, or recorded child care providers. The Portland Water Bureau will provide the correct size sampling bottles and instructions and uses the Portland Water Bureau Lab, which is ORELAP accredited, to analyze the samples.

I tested through the Portland Water Bureau before 2018. Does that testing count?

Maybe. The Portland Water Bureau has two programs that offered testing to child care providers in the past. One of these programs meets the requirements, and one does not. The Portland Water Bureau sent letters to all known licensed child care providers that previously tested to let them know if the previous testing meets the new requirements or not. If you have questions about your previous testing results, please contact the Portland Water Bureau at 503-823-1870.

Are there other requirements in the new rules besides testing my water for lead?

Yes. The rules require all childcare providers, regardless of lead in water results, to take preventive measures to limit lead in drinking water. These include running faucets until cold (30 seconds to 2 minutes) each time before use and only using cold water for preparing food, formula, drinking or cooking. The rules also have requirements for licensed providers to notify families of results within 1 business day and develop and implement an action plan for any faucet or fixture that has a result at or above 15 parts per billion. More information is available on the Early Learning Division’s website or by contacting the Early Learning Division at cheyenne.gardner@state.or.us or 503-947-5908.

 

Ordering Testing through the Portland Water Bureau

 

Who can order testing through the Portland Water Bureau?

Any child care provider that is a Portland Water Bureau customer can order free testing through the Portland Water Bureau. If you are a licensed or recorded child care provider, please provide the license or recorded program number when you order testing.

How much does the testing cost?

Testing through the Portland Water Bureau is free.

How do I find out if I am a Portland Water Bureau customer?

You can either look at your water bill to find your water provider, or look up your address using the Who is my water provider? tool.

I am a Portland Water Bureau customer, where can I order testing?

Before ordering a test kit, you should determine which faucets and fixtures you need to test, you may order testing using the order form for child care providers.

I am not a Portland Water Bureau customer, where can I order testing?

You can find information about ORELAP labs that provide testing on the Early Learning Division website. The website will also provide information on requesting testing from the labs that meets the new requirements.

Is there a deadline to order testing?

Portland Water Bureau strongly recommends that licensed child care providers order testing by July 1, 2018. This will guarantee that you will receive your results before the September 30, 2018 deadline. This is when you will have to submit to the state your testing results and, if any results are at or over 15 parts per billion, a plan of remediation actions.

Is there a limit of how many faucets or fixtures I can test?

The Portland Water Bureau will only provide testing for faucets or fixtures that the rules require child care providers to test for: drinking water faucets or fixtures used for preparing food, infant formula, drinking or cooking. The Portland Water Bureau will test all of these types of faucets or fixtures in your facility. The Portland Water Bureau will not test water from hand washing or diaper changing sinks, bathtubs or showers, utility or laundry sinks, or any other locations that are not used for drinking water.

 

Information about Portland’s Child Care Testing Program

 

What do I have to sample?

The rules require licensed child care providers to test all faucets or fixtures used for preparing food, infant formula, drinking or cooking. This may include kitchen sinks, classroom sinks, drinking fountains, or other faucets or fixtures.

What are the steps of the sampling process?

  • Order your kit: before ordering, verify you are a Portland Water Bureau customer, determine the faucets and fixtures you are required to test, and, if applicable, locate your license or recorded program number. Order your kit online.
  • Wait for kit to arrive: you should receive your kit in 5-7 business days.
  • Review sampling instructions: when you receive your test kit, read through the instructions and plan a time to collect the samples.
  • Collect water samples: once you collect all your samples, put them back in the box, attach the return mailing label, and mail back to the Portland Water Bureau for analysis.
  • Wait for results: you should receive results in the mail in 4 to 6 weeks.

How do I collect samples?

When you order testing through the Portland Water Bureau, we will send you a kit with instructions, a data sheet, and sample bottles. For facilities that need to sample more than 9 faucets or fixtures, you may be required to pick up your kit at the Portland Water Bureau. The instructions require that you don’t use the water at the faucet or fixture you are testing for 8 to 18 hours, then fill the sample bottles and record information on the data sheet. Once you collect your samples, you return the filled sample bottles to the Portland Water Bureau using the box the kit came in and a postage-paid return label. The Portland Water Bureau will then analyze your samples.

How long does the Portland Water Bureau’s testing process take?

Once the Portland Water Bureau receives your samples, it typically takes our lab 4 to 6 weeks to analyze your samples. You can anticipate that the entire process, from the time you order testing to the time that you submit results to the state, will take over 2 months.

How will I receive my results?

The Portland Water Bureau will mail you a letter with your results.

I have questions about the sampling process or want to check on the status of my samples, who can I contact?

You can contact the Portland Water Bureau at 503-823-1870 or WBFacilities@portlandoregon.gov