May 06, 2016 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - The Kamloops school district is preparing a program to test for lead in the tap water at area schools.
School District 73 is working closely with the Interior Health Authority says Supt. Karl deBruijn, and a program may be in place by the next school year.
“We know we’re going to put in a system of testing because our buildings are older,” he says.
deBruijn says the district’s buildings are on municipal and well water. The schools drawing from wells are regularly tested for safe drinking, which includes elevated lead levels.
The schools using municipal water systems are the ones a lead testing program is being developed for, but the risk is low.
“We’re at a very low risk because our water is not the type of water that is problematic,” he says. “It’s very neutral. Interior Health advised that we’re at low risk.”
This means acid content is low he says, which makes it less likely to leach lead from pipes. Additionally, he says, the water is safe in the municipal system, so lead would only be coming from pipes inside the school. The schools’ water systems are regularly flushed, which keeps water from pooling and absorbing anything from the pipes.
The Okanagan Skaha School District in Penticton is currently taking action after elevated lead levels were found in the tap water in three schools.
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