What our children are drinking

The fountains need to be shut down immediately!

My daughter brings a water bottle from home when she goes to the Middle school.

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I also send water bottles, but kids get thirsty and even with water bottles will sometimes drink from the fountain. I know they are putting in new filtered water fountains but I hope they close down the unfiltered ones.

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That is my wish as well.

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Naive to think its just an issue at the schools

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Media release today from the city:

City Responds to Report of Elevated Levels of Lead in School District Water Supply
February 17, 2016
FEBRUARY 17th, 2016 – PRINCE RUPERT – As was indicated in the release from School District 52 and Northern Health yesterday, elevated levels of lead contamination were recorded in the drinking water at several School District 52 locations. Northern Health has confirmed that the City tests the municipal water supply weekly at several locations for all contaminants, and results show that the City water supply consistently meets Canadian drinking water standards for lead.

“We want to reassure the public that there is NO lead contamination through the delivery of potable water to the citizens of Prince Rupert. We test our water weekly at different locations and Northern Health has confirmed that the municipal water supply is safe to drink,” stated Mayor Lee Brain. “I am deeply concerned about this discovery. I can assure you that we will be working with our partners at Northern Health and the School District to look more closely into how this happened, as well as steps we can take to ensure citizens are better informed regarding how to prevent similar issues at home.”

In Canada, the National Plumbing Code allowed lead as an acceptable material for pipes until 1975 and in solder until 1986, with the complete prohibition of lead in the Code in 1990.

Although many homes in Prince Rupert have had their plumbing upgraded, due to the age of the housing stock, it may be possible that older homes still have lead solder and/or pipes.

Once the City’s water supply reaches a property line, plumbing becomes the responsibility of individual homeowners. As a precaution, if homeowners believe their plumbing potentially contains lead components, the City urges residents to take on testing through Northern Health.

To have your home’s water tested, Northern Health’s directions are to pick up a sample kit and fill out a survey at the Northern Health Public Health Unit in Prince Rupert (300 Third Avenue West). You may bring the bottle containing your water sample back to the Health Unit to be analyzed for a fee of $29. Your results will be mailed or emailed to you within 2-3 weeks and anonymously included in Northern Health’s assessment of lead exposure in the community. Alternatively, you can contact Northern Labs (251 Kaien Road) directly to arrange for sample collection and processing.

Veronika Stewart
Communications Manager, City of Prince Rupert
Office: (250) 627 0976 ext. 276
Cell: (778) 884 6285

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It would be interesting to have a bit more information on the history behind this particular situation – given that I believe water flushing has previously happened within the District.
If it is true that water flushing did previously occur because of the concern for elevated lead levels – why was it stopped? What remediation took place so that the need to flush or test was no longer there? Why the sudden increase in lead levels?
Does the school district test water quality? How regularly? Which schools have plumbing components consisting of lead / solder?
Considering that our schools are populated by young children with developing minds and bodies – are there any potential consequences of elevated levels?
Anyone have any answers?

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