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Initial Testing Shows Lead In The Water At Oregon's Capitol Building

Chris Lehman
NW News Network
Signs have been added in capitol bathrooms warning people not to drink the water.

Some drinking fountains have been turned off at the Oregon capitol building after tests showed an unsafe level of lead in the water. Officials have ordered more tests to determine the source of the lead.An initial round of tests in the capitol showed unsafe levels of lead in the only two working water fountains in the central part of the landmark building. There was also lead in bathroom faucets in the oldest section of the capitol building, which dates to 1938. That's home to the governor's office and both legislative chambers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says even small amounts of lead in drinking water can be hazardous, especially to children and pregnant women.

The fountains were turned off and signs were added above bathroom sinks to indicate the water there is unsafe to drink. It's still fine for washing hands. Further tests should help narrow down the source of the lead to either the supply pipes or the plumbing fixtures.

Tests in the wings of the capitol, which date to the 1970's, came back clear.