Lead levels acceptable in some North Okanagan schools’ water

Vernon district upgrades facilities to remove lead fittings and pipes, while North Okanagan-Shuswap still making improvements

Parents don’t have to worry about their kids drinking lead-tainted water, according to the Vernon School District.

The district, which has 15 schools, including the board office, has completed upgrades to each of the buildings that previously failed to meet Health Canada’s water standards.

A report in 2018 (from testing done in August and September), showed several schools didn’t meet Health Canada standards, including BX, Cherryville, Kidston, Mission Hill, Beairsto and Lavington elementary schools and Kalamalka Secondary.

The district said upgrades were made shortly after the report was filed.

“Since the 2018 report, the lead levels at these locations have been rectified to under the allowable lead content level,” School District No. 22’s communications specialist Maritza Reilly said.

“This is thanks to our maintenance team who are constantly monitoring and testing our facilities and making the required adjustments when needed.”

Health Canada standards for the allowable lead content were decreased from .01 milligrams to .005 milligrams per litre in March 2019.

READ MORE: School District #83 working to meet standards for lead in drinking water

Superintendent Joe Rogers points out that some schools, like many homes in Vernon have old infrastructure, including lead pipes which is how the substance may get into water.

The source of lead in the tap water, whether at schools or homes, is likely to be from plumbing materials, he said.

Lead dissolves into water when the water sits stagnant for a long period of time in lead pipes, lead solder and older brass or bronze taps and fixtures.

The concern is schools serve a population of young children that are more vulnerable to lead exposure.

Along with replacing any fixtures containing lead components, the district’s maintenance department conducts daily flushing of fixtures before anyone has entered the school and consumes water.

The upgrades also follow testing in 2016, which revealed elevated levels of lead in initial samples at Crossroads, Cherryville, BX, Mission Hill, Kalamalka and W.L. Seaton schools.

READ MORE: Water lines flushed after lead detected in schools

READ MORE: Most public schools in Abbotsford and Mission have water contaminated with lead

Year schools were built:

Alexis Park 1972

Beairsto 1910

School Board office 1978

Charles Bloom 1950

BX Elementary 1962

Cherryville 1949

Coldstream 2010

Crossroads Alternative 1996

DAC Alternative 1972

Ellison 1998

Fulton 1994

Harwood 1955

Hillview 1962

JW Inglis 1955

Kal 1976


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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

“I call her my adopted daughter”: Salmon Arm couple embrace student exchange experience

Rotary Youth Exchange students choose to shelter in place during COVID-19 pandemic

Chamber steps up for Sicamous businesses trying to stay open

Organization creates directory of changes businesses have made in response to COVID-19

Salmon Arm firefighters sound sirens in support of hospital staff

Fire chief hopes to have more emergency responders involved in upcoming parade

Salmon Arm opens respiratory clinic in response to COVID-19

Clinic will not be a walk-in centre, residents must call family doctor or nurse practioner first

Last-minute hiring means Salmon Arm’s emergency shelter can remain open

Salvation Army’s Lighthouse shelter to stay open beyond normal closing date of April 1

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Lake Country athlete selected to participate in national training program

Volleyball player Chloe Ladd will be heading to the Lower Mainland in the fall

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Super Beaver Task Force: April Fool’s Day joke lightens weight of COVID-19 uncertainty

Ducks Unlimited Canada enlists beavers’ help to protect wetlands in unconventional way

Solar panels installed at Summerland’s municipal hall

Power from energy project expected to provide five per cent of building’s power use

COVID-19: Okanagan College student pens petition for pass/fail grades

Optional pass/fail program would reduce stress, recognize students’ challenges faced in pandemic

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

South Okanagan piper to perform for livestreamed memorials

Penticton funeral home to show performances every Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Most Read