​Testing Water for Lead

In 2017, the Oregon Youth Authority tested the water outlets at our close-custody facilities for lead and copper. We tested all outlets that could be used for drinking and cooking
Lead can be harmful to people's health, and we want to make sure all youth, staff, contractors, volunteers and visitors are safe and healthy. This page details our test results and actions we have taken to keep people safe.


  Actions We Have Taken

·        In February and March 2017, OYA voluntarily began testing the water at all of our close-custody facilities for lead and copper. With the help of an environmental consulting firm and an independent lab, we tested outlets that could be used for drinking, cooking, and brushing teeth.

·        OYA developed a business plan to guide its work. The plan was based on guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division.

·        As soon as we received results from each facility, we immediately directed those facilities to stop using any outlets with actionable levels for drinking or cooking, and we posted warning signs on the fixtures. In some cases, we provided bottled water or other water sources for youth and staff.

·        In April 2017, we offered voluntary lead blood screening tests to youth at all our facilities, staff, volunteers, and contractors. The state epidemiologist at the Oregon Health Authority has advised us that it’s relatively rare for water to be a source of elevated lead levels in the bloodstream.

·        We implemented a comprehensive plan to replace and re-test all of the taps with elevated levels at all of our facilities.

·        We will not remove any warning signs from outlets until their clearance test results come back below the action levels.

•    As of March 2018, our remediation work at all facilities except for Camp Florence is complete. (Read more about Camp Florence at this link.) OYA will perform comprehensive lead and copper testing of the water used for drinking or cooking at all our facilities every three years. The next round of testing is slated to begin in 2020.


Update on our Remediation Work, by Facility - March 2018

Análisis de plomo en el agua en las instalaciones de OYA - Actualización, Marzo 2018



  Testing Results

We began gathering water samples in February 2017 for testing in a lab.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends immediate action if a 250 mL test result exceeds 20 parts per billion (ppb) of lead.  OYA is following a more rigorous standard for lead — we took immediate action if a result met or exceeded 15 ppb. For copper, the action level is 1.3 parts per million (ppm) in a 250 mL sample.

Test results were posted as we received them.

  Contact for questions
OYA Communications
Email: OYA.Communications@oya.state.or.us