Drinking Water Lead Sampling for BLSD - Fall 2019

Health Canada released a new national guideline for lead in drinking water in March of 2019. The guideline for lead in drinking water was lowered from 0.01mg/L to 0.005mg/L. In addition, Health Canada recommended the testing of lead levels in drinking water in school taps and fountains.

In consultation with the Office of Drinking Water and Manitoba Public Health, Border Land School Division has completed sampling for lead in drinking water at each of our schools, prioritizing fountains and faucets used by students and staff. To date, 43 samples have been taken and 15 samples exceeded the new recommended limit for lead. For those taps exceeding recommended levels of lead in drinking water, measures have been taken to assure water is available for the students and staff that meets the new recommended drinking water guidelines.

The division has also shut down one water fountain and added filters to all remaining affected fixtures. All filters added are NSF 53 certified, meaning that they filter out 99.95% of all lead content. Follow-up testing will be taken to ensure the filters are effective.

There are many potential sources of lead in drinking water. The most common sources are the materials used in the building plumbing system and/or the fountains themselves. Border Land School Division has been proactive in replacing outdated fountains with new stainless steel fountains and bottle filling stations, many of which are equipped with NSF 53 certified filters. All fixtures not equipped with filters have been tested.

 

For further information on the division’s lead in drinking water testing program, please contact Barry Friesen, Maintenance Supervisor at friesenb@blsd.ca, or 204-324-9536.

For information on Lead in Drinking Water: Schools, Child Care Centres and Large Buildings, visit:  https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/pubs/water/drinking_water/rld_largebuildings.pdf

For health-related questions on lead, call Health Links Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll free at 1-888-315-9257, or your local public health office.