Two Schools Left With Lead In Water

After retesting and a daily flushing program, two local North Island schools are the only ones still affected.

After retesting and a daily flushing program, two local North Island schools, Fort Rupert Elementary and Eagle View Elementary School, are the only ones that still have an issue.

The Vancouver Island North School District No. 85 (SD85) released a notice to parents and guardians on May 13, regarding the results of a second water test done on the five schools that previously showed elevated levels of lead in their drinking water.

“These tests were conducted under normal school use conditions by a certified water testing facility,” said Darby Gildersleeve, manager of operations and maintenance for SD85, in the notice. The results show lead levels within the Health Canada Guidelines in all but two locations, Fort Rupert Elementary’s library sink, and Eagle View Elementary School’s primary wing drinking fountain. The Eagle View Elementary Primary Wing fountain will continue to be deactivated until a filter for it is installed during the summer. To ensure that water quality remains within the acceptable guidelines, a daily flushing program has been implanted at the five schools originally affected.

“The program involves turning on selected taps for a minimum of five minutes in the morning before school starts, in order to flush water left standing overnight. As part of the daily flushing process, a record will be kept by the school. Ongoing monitoring of water quality will be undertaken by the School District’s Maintenance Department. Over the summer, properly filtered drinking water fountains will be installed in the affected schools.”