Students at Lindsay Park and Selkirk have been told to drink only from hallway water fountains. Google Images.

SD6 informs parents of drinking water test results at Kimberley schools

Lead levels in some old faucets at Lindsay Park and Selkirk have prompted warning; faucets will be replaced. In the meantime, students are to drink only from fountains

School District No. 6 has sent home a letter to parents of Lindsay Park Elementary and Selkirk Secondary students regarding water safety.

Recent required water testing for lead concentrations has found some old faucets at Lindsay Park and Selkirk have results that cause some concern.

“British Columbia School Districts are required to test water quality for lead concentrations once every three years,” the letter says. “Drinking fountains and taps used for cooking are the prioritized points of testing. To further ensure safe and healthy drinking water in schools, over the past number of years, we have installed drinking fountains in all our facilities that specifically remove lead from the drinking water. In the most recent round of water testing in SD6 we have expanded our testing. An important change to Health Canada recommended guidelines is that the MAC (Minimal Allowable Concentration) levels of lead have recently been reduced by half, from .01 mg/L to .005mg/L. Testing results this year confirm that the drinking water at drinking fountains all remains below the MAC levels. However, there are some old faucets at Lindsay Park Elementary and Selkirk Secondary with results above those levels in the water test results.”

SD6 Director of Operations, Steve Jackson, says that installation of new drinking fountains began in 2014,

“In all our schools drinking fountains have been upgraded to these new fountains,” Jackson said. “All schools have multiple fountains. The fountains are equipped with filters that remove lead and other contaminants. Our testing has confirmed that the filters are very effective in removing lead; testing indicates lead levels lower than .0002mg/l which is lower than the new Health Canada guideline of .005 mg/l. They are a great source of drinking water for our students and staff.

“Fixtures that were identified in this current round of testing that have lead levels above the Health Canada guideline are being replaced immediately in our schools. These fixtures will be mostly replaced by the end of this week. Most of the fixtures are already replaced.

“Our testing also indicates that if lead in water is found to be higher than the Health Canada guideline it is most likely to come from old plumbing fixtures (older than 1990) therefore out of an abundance of caution we have initiated the replacement of all old faucets throughout our School District, generally these old faucets are located in washrooms. This work is planned to be done by Christmas break.

“We are planning to test the water from all sources throughout our schools again at Christmas break and if any fixtures are found to have lead levels higher than the Health Canada guideline we will commence further mitigation such as pipe replacement where possible, flushing and/or filtering.

“Going forward, we will encourage students and staff to adopt a 10 second flushing practice when getting drinking water even in facilities where the results of our testing indicated lead levels below the Health Canada guideline. It is a prudent habit to ensure that stagnant water has been flushed from the fixture. Developing this habit of flushing prior to drinking is a practice that is recommended by health authorities.”

In the meantime, until the work is done, drinking water is only to come from the water fountains in the hallways of the schools. Signs will be posted at all faucets other than drinking fountains to remind everyone to drink only from the fountains.

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

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

City of Kimberley no longer using electricity to thaw frozen water lines

With temperatures dropping, the potential for frozen water lines increases. The City… Continue reading

McCormick to deliver ‘State of the City’ address February 5

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick will present his annual address on the state… Continue reading

Kimberley’s Lloyd Steeves and Donna Briggs named Volunteers of the Year with Alpine Canada

The duo are the driving force behind ski racing in Kimberley.

Kimberley Skating Club hosting East Kootenay Invitational this weekend

The competition is underway at the Kimberley Civic Centre until Sunday afternoon.

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Hwy 3 to close for avalanche control on Jan. 19

The road is expected to be closed from noon to 3 p.m.

Most Read