Lead in Portland Public Schools: District Will Spend $1.2 Million on Water Tests and Emergency Contracts

That bill doesn’t include the costs of fixing any of those sinks and fountains.

Portland Public Schools has inked $1.2 million in contracts to test sinks and fountains across the school district for lead and to evaluate the scope of the district's water problem.

That bill doesn't include the costs of fixing any of those sinks and fountains.

Before the revelations that dozens of schools had evaluated levels of lead in their water, PPS had already planned to run tests across the district this summer, spending a relatively modest $450,000.

But the district declared a state of emergency and those costs have ballooned since revelations of elevated lead levels shook the district last month.

Contracts to take water samples and test them now total $662,500. Costs rose by $233,750 when the school system moved to complete the tests by early July.

Blood tests for all the district's employees who want them will run up to $250,000. An outside contractor evaluating how the district should deal with the problems (at least in kitchens and cafeterias) may cost another quarter million dollars.

For the relatively modest sum of $50,000, the district is providing water to summer school and other programs that operate in district buildings during the summer.

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