SD61 installs new water fountains after finding elevated levels of lead in water

District spent $850,000 for 230 water fixtures, 40 new pre-filtration systems

Concerns over elevated levels of lead found in the drinking water of Victoria public schools last year has led the Greater Victoria School District to install new water fountains, bottle fillers and in-line filtration systems in all of its schools.

The province mandated lead testing in all schools in 2016, and after initial testing the Board of Education decided it was alarming enough to spend $200,000 on new filtration systems.

These new filters helped reduce lead concentrations, but some schools still showed elevated traces in last year’s annual testing, according to a release from SD61.

It was determined that stagnant water sitting in the pipes for extended periods of time in the older water fountain pipes was causing the elevated traces of lead.

READ MORE: SD61 to install new water fountains over lead concerns

“While most of the water fountains indicated safe lead levels after running for 15 seconds, the Board of Education felt filtered water should be immediate,” said board chair Edith Loring-Kuhanga.

“Now, with the combination of new filtration systems and fixtures, we are very optimistic there will be a significant improvement in the schools’ water quality,” she added. “It definitely brings a peace of mind knowing that students and staff will have safer drinking water.”

School district staff have spent the past eight months removing old water fountains, installing new fountains and bringing in centralized bottle fillers.

READ MORE: Major upgrades coming to SD61 for new school year

Every school in SD61 now has new water fountains and a minimum of one bottle filler.

In total, the school district said nearly 230 water fixtures and more than 40 new pre-filtration systems have been added for approximately $850,000.

Annual tests will continue at one-third of the district sites to ensure that their drinking water complies with Health Canada Guidelines. Federal guidelines for lead in drinking water states that the maximum acceptable lead concentration is 0.010mg/L (10ppb). The new tests will begin in the fall.


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

Police incident in Mount Douglas Park leads to road closure

Officers turning cars away, letting hikers go up trails

PHOTOS: Women’s March through downtown Victoria draws crowds of activists, allies

Attendees of all ages carried instruments, posters with empowering messages

Victoria resident lives well despite dementia

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

New Victoria Conservatory music scholarship recognizes long-time Sidney resident

O. Thomas Webb died in Sidney last year after retiring to the community in 1975

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Intense winds en route to Greater Victoria

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Most Read