School district testing for lead in water set to begin this week

NANAIMO – Nanaimo school district awards tender to Tetra Tech Engineering for lead water testing.

Testing for lead in water is anticipated to begin this week for facilities in the Nanaimo school district.

Testing for lead in water is expected to start in Nanaimo schools this week after the Ministry of Education advised B.C. school district to develop testing protocols.

The ministry had advised that districts work with local health authorities on a testing program last February and Nanaimo school district awarded a tender to Tetra Tech Engineering Nov. 16 to conduct the testing, planing and examining the results.

Testing is to be done on all facilities built before 1990, according to information from the district. Pete Sabo, school district director of planning and operations, said he didn’t have a schedule or list of schools as of Friday, but a number of people have been asking for that, including Island Health.

“A lot of schools are going to meet [criteria] because a lot of schools are built in sections,” said Sabo. “Even though one section might appear to be newer, there might be an older section as well, so I don’t know that that work’s been completely completed by the consultant and our staff yet, but I requested that and I just haven’t received it.”

Testing must be completed by March 10 and the district must submit results to the Ministry of Education by March 31. The district will also work with Tetra Tech and Island Health on mitigation if the results warrant it.

“As soon as results are received by staff, we will start the mitigation thought process … we’re looking at processes that we can put in place to help mitigate and I expect that we would have more than just the results to supply to the ministry on March 31,” Sabo said.

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