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Water sampling finds 'minor' excess of lead at Taylor fire hall, preschool

The District of Taylor will collect more drinking water samples from its fire hall and preschool after tests earlier this summer found lead levels above federal guidelines.
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The District of Taylor will collect more drinking water samples from its fire hall and preschool after tests earlier this summer found lead levels exceeded federal guidelines.

The District of Taylor will collect more drinking water samples from its fire hall and preschool after tests earlier this summer found lead levels above federal guidelines.  

Samples collected from 10 district facilities June 27 found lead levels at the two buildings exceeded the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality of 0.010 milligrams per litre (mg/L). Tests found lead in concentrations of 0.0119 mg/L at the fire hall and 0.0116 mg/L at the preschool. 

"It's a minor exceedance," said Gordon Davies, the district's director of operations, noting a second sample will be taken to ensure the results were correct. 

"The sample is to be taken after water is standing in the facility for six hours. If there's lead within the internal plumbing system or fittings, it's actually leaching into the water."

Taylor council had ordered the testing of its facilities as part of a Northern Health plan to identify potential lead contamination in drinking water supplies. 

Davies presented the results of the June 27 samples at the district's public works committee Monday morning. From those, ALS Laboratories detected lead at eight of the facilities. Only the fire hall and preschool, which is located in Taylor Elementary School, exceeded the guideline.  

Coun. Brent Taillefer, who chairs the committee, suggested ordering a third sample from the buildings once the second round of testing is complete. Tests cost around $68 each.

"If we test and the results are acceptable, let's wait a week or so but test again," he said. "It's a minor cost and it's just a reassurance."

The district plans to resample the fire hall this week, and will wait until the preschool reopens before resampling there to "get some regularity to the water usage," Davies said. "Anecdotal" reports from Northern Health suggest previous water samples taken from Taylor Elementary, which is operated by School District 60, have turned up normal, he noted. 

"In cases where water has stood in the pipes for a number of days, the chances of lead are probably better," Davies said. 

No lead was detected at the Lone Wolf Golf Course Clubhouse or the District Ice Arena, and testing has found no lead issues in the district's water supply and mainline, Davies said.

"The remedy to the situation is to run the water until it is cold," he said.

"It basically indicates (the tap) has cleared the water within the service line from the building and fresh water is coming from the district mainline," he said.

Health Canada notes it guidelines set lead limits at 0.010 mg/L for the biochemical and neurobehavioral effects lead can have for infants and children under six, and for women who are pregnant. Lead concentrations must be at least 0.00050 mg/L to be detected and reported.

Lead Sampling Results

Lowest detectable concentration: 0.00050 mg/L
Maximum concentration allowed: 0.010 mg/L

• District Library -- 0.00261 mg/L

• Lone Wolf Golf Course Clubhouse -- <0.00050 mg/L

• Fire Hall -- 0.01190 mg/L

• Medical Clinic -- 0.00731 mg/L

• District Ice Arena -- <0.00050 mg/L

• Community Hall -- 0.00263 mg/L

• Visitor Centre -- 0.00586 mg/L

• Taylor Preschool -- 0.01160 mg/L

• District Office -- 0.00388 mg/L

• Golf Course Maintenance Building -- 0.00081 mg/L

Source: District of Taylor

editor@ahnfsj.ca

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