District water fountains provided water that met the allowable limit for lead in the water, but they did not meet the new allowable limit for copper in the water. As a result, Northern Health had the district discontinue use all fountains and sinks as sources of drinking water. The district has been providing bottled water.
The district has begun a process of running new water lines to fountains and staff sinks. Pineridge Elementary School was the first building to be re-piped, and Northern Health now permits the fountains and staff sinks in this building to be used.
The district is proceeding to re-pipe other buildings and will re-open fountains and staff sinks as this work is completed.
The allowable limit for lead in water has been cut in half. Following a number of tests, the district has confirmed that flushing of water lines is not effective to reduce the amount of lead in water to this new limit at most sinks in schools and other district buildings. All staff and students are advised to use the filtered water fountains for all safe drinking water. There is also a new limit for copper in water. The district is consulting with the Northern Health Authority on the steps to be taken to meet this new requirement.
Update: January 20, 2020
Due to the new standard for copper content in drinking water issued by Health Canada, as a precaution, Northern Health has asked SD 52 to provide bottled water until they can confirm the test results from our recent water test.
Our maintenance crew will be by this afternoon to shut off water fountains and post the notice. Water deliveries with pump handles will begin as soon as possible.