Water flushing plan, new sink on tap as Taylor continues lead sampling

The District of Taylor plans to replace a sink at its fire hall while School District 60 will flush water lines at Taylor Elementary School after elevated lead levels were found in the drinking water at the two facilities.

In a Sept. 30 report, Operations Director Ryan Nelson outlines the measures as a response to tests in June that found lead levels at the two buildings exceeded federal Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality of 0.010 milligrams per litre (mg/L).

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A second water sample taken from the fire hall Aug. 18 found lead levels at 0.0146 mg/L, while a third test on Sept. 1 at a newer sink in the upstairs of the building found levels at just 0.00231 mg/L.

"It has been since decided to have the downstairs sink where the first two samples exceeded, changed and then retested," Nelson wrote in the report. 

Meanwhile, a water sample taken from the sink at Taylor Preschool on Sept. 7, after the school reopened, found lead levels at 0.0192 mg/L, higher than levels of 0.01160 mg/L first detected in a sample taken from a locker room in June. 

Separate post-summer and operational water sampling by School District 60 found levels at 0.00754 mg/L and 0.000372 mg/L, respectively, according to a recent report from the district, both of which are well below the federal limits.

The district will flush water lines at the school once a week for the next four to six weeks, with new samples being taking at the midway point and at the end of the flushing program, Nelson notes.

"We will be informed of any test results and activity from the flushing program," he wrote.

Elevated lead levels found at four schools

With classes back in full swing, School District 60 has released the results of its post-summer water sampling program.

While all schools tested under federal limits last spring, excess lead was found at Bert Bowes (0.0103 mg/L), Ecole Central (0.013 mg/L), Upper Halfway (0.014 mg/L), and Wonowon (0.0133 mg/L) schools, prior to their respective water lines being flushed.

In an Oct. 6 community letter, Superintendent Dave Sloan said all schools are tested twice: once before flushing water lines and again after lines have been flushed for more than two minutes. All sites tested tested safe when the lines were flushed, Sloan noted in his letter.

"The district continues to develop an ongoing safety plan to ensure safe water is always available at all our facilities," he wrote.

"Testing and flushing programs are being set in place to guarantee our ongoing commitment to maintaining a safe water supply."

The samples are being taken as part of a Northern Health plan to identify potential lead contamination in drinking water supplies. 

Health Canada notes it guidelines set lead limits at 0.010 mg/L for the biochemical and neurobehavioral effects the heavy metal can have on 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.


School District 60 Drinking Water Lead Sample Results by mpreprost on Scribd


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