Nanaimo school district has released a report with details on tests done to determine lead levels in water.                                KARL YU/News Bulletin
Bad Video Embed Code

Nanaimo school district has released a report with details on tests done to determine lead levels in water. KARL YU/News Bulletin

VIDEO: Nanaimo school district implements fixes after testing for lead in water

B.C. Ministry of Education requires one-third of schools built before 1990 to be tested yearly

After testing at schools revealed lead in drinking water, Nanaimo school district is working on mitigation procedures.

The B.C. Ministry of Education has mandated water testing in schools built before 1990 and the district hired Tetra Tech Engineering to examine schools, including John Barsby and Nanaimo District secondary schools and Bayview, Chase River, Fairview, École North Oyster, École Hammond Bay, Pleasant Valley and Rock City elementary schools.

Testing took place in December, with water samples taken and lines flushed out.

Brian Hackwood, manager of maintenance, told the district business committee all facilities had samples with a lead count above the acceptable 10 micrograms per litre upon first sample, but it decreased as faucets ran.

“Fifty-nine per cent of all the taps we did passed, so that’s [where] you turn the tap, you got your little jar underneath, you take the water, you sample it, the lead content wasn’t above Canada’s safe drinking guidelines,” said Hackwood. “Ninety-eight per cent of them cleared within two minutes.”

A staff report indicated Barsby school had two samples failing after five minutes of water running and Nanaimo District Secondary had one sample that failed after that time.

Signage has been placed at tested facilities, and will be placed at yet-to-be tested sites.

In an e-mail, Dale Burgos, district spokesman, said mitigation work is expected to be completed by the end of April.

In the case of Barsby, five auto flush valves will be installed, which will focus on stagnant water and end of runs in the science rooms – there are signs indicating that water is not safe for consumption.

At Nanaimo District Secondary, a faucet has been replaced in the prep room and three new drinking fountains and three auto flush valves have been installed.

Dr. Paul Hasselback, Island Health medical health officer, said running the water has been recommended for years and it’s part of procedures at most schools.

“I think that this is just a reassurance that this is an issue that’s being looked at … we’ll work with the school districts and we’ll continue to work towards mitigating this. We haven’t seen evidence of lead poisoning amongst students and there’s nothing different here than what has been in place for probably several decades, because these are older schools,” said Hasselback when asked if there is reason for concern.

One-third of district schools must be tested annually, as per provincial requirements. For more information, please visit the school district’s website at www.sd68.bc.ca.

reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

What do you think? E-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com or leave comments at our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nanaimobulletin.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find a 16-year-old who has been missing since Sunday. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: 16-year-old Nanaimo boy located safe

Teen had been reported missing last week and it was thought he may have left town

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

The Nanaimo Clippers are seeking assistance in raising money for Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. Texting NANKIDS to 41010 will see a $10 donation to the food bank. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo Clippers look to assist food bank with fundraising goal

People can text-to-donate to support Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

Most Read