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After Lead Scare, Portland Schools Resume Cooking With Kitchen Water

Several sinks at Creston School showed high lead levels in tests over summer 2016.

Several sinks at Creston School showed high lead levels in tests over summer 2016.

Rob Manning/OPB

Portland Public Schools officials believe they’re getting a handle on the lead in drinking water problems. School kitchens will be back to using water from sinks next week.

But school cooks will have to pay close attention to the sinks they’re using. 

District spokeswoman Courtney Westling said Tuesday many sinks have tested clean for lead and will be used without constraint starting Monday. Others, she said, need to be flushed before using and they’ll be labeled accordingly. A third group of sinks still have high lead levels even when they’re flushed, so they’ll be used only to wash dishes.

Portland Public Schools has also parted ways with both administrators it put on paid leave when the lead-in-water crisis broke in June.

Effective Monday, the district said Chief Operating Officer Tony Magliano is resigning. Magliano was at the heart of the lead-in-drinking water controversy last spring. He’s been on paid administrative leave since June.  

“We’ve received Tony Magliano’s resignation effective October 3,” Westling said in a statement. “We continue to be focused on reviewing policies and practices to ensure safety of our students and staff.”

The other facility official put on paid leave, Andy Fridley, resigned this summer.

Those resignations follow the abrupt retirement of Superintendent Carole Smith over the summer.

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