If you have noticed new water stations at your kids’ school, it’s likely because unacceptable levels of lead were found in the drinking water.
By December 2017, the Langley School District tested each school’s water fountains for the presence of lead. This came after initial testing last year showed above acceptable levels of lead in drinking fountains at Alice Brown, Blacklock, Langley Fundamental, Glenwood, Douglas Park, Langley Meadows and Uplands.
In 2016, the Ministry of Education ordered all school districts to test for lead in drinking water. Fountains at some Surrey schools were found to have eight times the allowable limit.
The testing was to take place over three years. But once the seven Langley schools failed the tests, the district chose to take samples at all remaining schools immediately rather than wait, said school district superintendent Gord Stewart.
Of the remaining schools tested, Brookswood Secondary and Langley Secondary were found during stagnant water tests at fountains to have above acceptable levels of lead.
“Stagnant samples are samples taken after a prolonged period of disuse, such as a weekend period over 48 hours, where water is sitting in the pipes and has time to absorb contaminants. A two-minute flushing of the system resulted in samples within allowable limits,” Stewart said last December.
Affected schools were undergoing a two-minute flushing every Monday. During the week, water flows through the system and lead levels do not exceed maximum acceptable limits.
The long term solution was to remove offending water fountains and replace them with filtered bottle filling stations.
Those school fountains that were found to have above acceptable levels have all been removed and/or fitted with filtered water stations, said Stewart.