School District 83 is looking to install water bottle refill stations, similar to the one pictured, in North Okanagan-Shuswap schools. (File photo)

School District #83 working to meet standards for lead in drinking water

Water bottle refill stations, additional filtration being added to North Okanagan-Shuswap schools

School District 83 said it is working hard to meet new Health Canada standards for lead in drinking water at North Okanagan-Shuswap schools.

On Jan. 16, the school district put out a media release reporting some school water fountains now have signs posted to them, asking people to run the fountains for one minute prior to drinking. Other fountains are now blocked off, and some taps have been labelled “not potable water.”

The school district reports these steps were taken in response to Health Canada standards, in which the allowable lead content in drinking water was recently decreased from .01 milligrams to .005 milligrams per litre.

SD83 facilities and grounds manager Glynn Warnica said staff have about one-third of the schools now meeting the new standard, with the rest to be addressed over the next few weeks.

Read more: Majority of North Okanagan-Shuswap school buildings in poor condition

Read more: Highways contractor’s performance leaves rural Shuswap residents cold

Read more: Salmon Arm mayor willing to invite Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to the Shuswap

Warnica explained how previously the provincial policy required testing on a three-year cycle, with the first test done on water that has sat overnight, and a second on water that has been run for 60 seconds.

“With the new standard, if the water has greater than the .005 mg/L of lead when it sits overnight, but is lower than the .005 mg/L after the water has been run for 60 seconds, a sign will be posted to tell users to run the water for a minimum of 60 seconds before drinking,” said the SD83 release. “If the water fails the second test, further mitigation is necessary.”

Warnica said testing failure is often attributed to lead in the fixture or the solder at the fixture.

“To fix this, the district would need to change every fixture at every affected school and hope there is no lead in the solder joints in pipes leading to the tap.”

As this would be a large expense, the school district is putting water bottle filling stations in schools and adding additional filtration in school kitchens.

“For example, at Highland Park, several water fountains were deactivated and two water bottle filling stations been installed.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Vernon grandpa needs a kidney

Harry Bryant turns to Facebook to search for a donor, educate others on kidney disease

Our History: A royal visit to Vernon

Princess Margaret and Lt.-Gov. Frank Mackenzie Ross took a ride through Vernon… Continue reading

Coldstream officials clear air about pool costs

Municipalities seeks to clarify who pays what to cover additional lifeguarding hours

Playoff time for North Okanagan Knights

KIJHL: Best-of-seven series starts in Rutland, shifts to Armstrong Monday and Tuesday

Big contributions for Vernon’s Schubert Centre

Former member of the centre donated $10,000 while Regency Parkwood donated more than $2,000

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Mitchell’s Musings: Karma is king

One good turn leads to another and another…

Notorious B.C. fugitive to be extradited from California on murder charge

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

The price of child poverty: Women parenting alone forced to live harsh reality

Latest figures available show 1,630 children in Columbia Shuswap Regional District living in poverty

Man missing in the South Okanagan located

Victor Genero has been located according to RCMP. He was last seen in Penticton on Feb. 24.

Conservative MP questions whether rail blockades constitute terrorism

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett travelled to B.C. to meet Indigenous leaders

Most Read