Elevated lead levels in water at the Multnomah Arts Center were detected over the course of three years – in 2011, 2012 and 2013, according to new information from Portland Parks & Recreation released Sunday.
It wasn’t immediately clear why the test results came to light, years after the testing occurred. PP&R officials said the water fountains have been turned off at the arts center.
“I am sorry that Portland Parks & Recreation did not notify the Commissioner in Charge or the MAC community of these test results when they occurred, and that we did not ensure that protocols were in place to ensure immediate and complete remediation,” said PP&R Director Mike Abbaté in a news release.
PP&R also said the Portland’s Children Museum and Fulton Park Community Center are also priority sites for testing due to the age of the plumbing systems in the building. Elevated lead levels haven’t been found at either of the sites.
City Commissioner Amanda Fritz called for an explanation in the delay.
“I have directed PP&R to institute immediate testing of the three priority park sites, and to work with technical experts to review the potential need for periodic systematic testing throughout our facilities,” said Commissioner Amanda Fritz.
“We know that many Parks buildings have infrastructure such as pipes that needs replacing. I will continue to prioritize public safety and prudent investments to keep working on fixing our aging parks,” said Fritz.