Politics & Government

Metro Parks Tacoma to test water for lead across its district

Metro Parks Tacoma said Friday that it will test its parks’ water fountains and several other water sources after concern sparked by the regional lead issues. Wright Park is shown here.
Metro Parks Tacoma said Friday that it will test its parks’ water fountains and several other water sources after concern sparked by the regional lead issues. Wright Park is shown here. Staff file, 2016

Metro Parks Tacoma will test all of its water fountains and several other water sources after concern sparked by a regional lead scare last week.

Spokesman Hunter George said the parks district could have results from the tests by late next week.

Locations include community centers, water fountains in parks and Tacoma Public Schools’ Science and Math Institute at Point Defiance.

Earlier this week, The News Tribune filed a records request with the parks district for the past three years of lead testing results.

George said only Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville has tested water. Water from its groundwater well must be tested for other possible contaminants, but officials there have tested for lead as well, George said. And the amount of lead in that water would not trigger a public health concern.

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Concern about lead in water emerged last week, when Tacoma Public Utilities revealed there could be up to 1,700 short lead pipes called goosenecks that connect water mains to water service lines leading to homes and businesses. None of Metro Parks’ buildings are thought to be connected to a gooseneck, George said.

“We never had any reason for a concern until TPU alerted the community (to the possible lead connectors),” George said. “… We want to cover the whole district, and depending on results we will be prepared to act swiftly.”

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

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