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

Just Posted

Saanich driver races to Chairman’s Trophy in Mission

Bill Okell has driven the same race car for 44 years

Local school districts gear up for the new back to school season

Seismic upgrades, inclusion and student safety are priorities

Camosun’s continuing education site a quick hit

Hundreds of courses available to launch new career opportunities

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read