No lead detected in water samples

To: UCSC Community

From: Ed Reiskin, Vice Chancellor for Finance, Operations, and Administration

In a message sent Saturday, we shared that we had learned about concerns regarding water quality on campus and described our plan to respond to the situation.

As part of a class project, students in the fall used at-home lead test strips on campus. While we had learned the students detected lead, we did not know the specific locations students tested until Thursday. We immediately had our professional staff collect water samples and send them to an accredited lab for independent evaluation.

I’m happy to report that this sensitive and accurate testing of our water samples did not detect any lead. The tests conducted were extremely rigorous. The limit of detection for these analyses was 1 microgram/liter. In addition to collecting samples from the drinking fountain at Porter College tested by students using at-home test strips, we sourced samples from throughout the entire residential building. We also collected samples from the East Field House. All results came back negative for lead.

We appreciate the reporting of at-home test strip information. These kits are intended to provide a simple indication of the presence or absence of potential contaminants. They are easy to use and widely accessible, but are limited in accuracy. The campus will continue to follow up promptly on any reports of water quality concerns from at-home tests. In the coming days, the results of the campus tests will be available on the Environmental Health and Safety website.  

We're grateful to those who helped bring this information to our attention and for the concern of our community members for promoting safety. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority, and I hope that the test results are reassuring to everyone in our community.