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1580 West Broadway Vancouver, B.C. V6J 5K8 Telephone: 604-713-5000 www.vsb.bc.ca
October 5, 2018
Vancouver School Board and staff are proud of the proactive work done for many years to monitor and reduce the presence of lead in water in our schools. All drinking fountains in operation in District schools meet the current Health Canada guideline of less than 10 parts per billion (ppb) of lead.
At its public meeting on September 24, 2018, the Board committed to further improve the safety of drinking water. This includes the decision to re-pipe all affected schools, and, to permanently close all drinking fountains that tested between 5-10 ppb and replace them with water bottle filling stations without lead containing materials. In addition, the Board directed staff to develop a plan to eliminate the presence of lead in water in all District schools. These measures will mean that there will be even less possibility of lead in drinking water sources.
To address the presence of lead in water, the District has:
• Completed water testing a full year ahead of requirements set by the Province in 2016 and worked with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to develop strategies to mitigate the risk of lead in drinking water.
• Shut down all fountains that tested over the Health Canada guideline limits or replaced piping.
• Posted signs at all sinks and non-drinking water sources in affected schools about “running the water for at least five minutes or until cold”, which reduces the possible build-up of lead.
• Installed new pipes during major construction projects like seismic upgrades and other maintenance projects.
The Board and all staff share parents’ and caregivers’ goal to ensure a safe supply of drinking water in our schools. We will share additional details as efforts to reduce lead levels in our schools continue.
SIR WILLIAM VAN HORNE ELEMENTARY Status of Drinking Water
Pre-1990 building codes permitted the use of lead solder in plumbing systems, a potential source of lead in drinking water.
Drinking water fountains in operation at SIR WILLIAM VAN HORNE ELEMENTARY were found to have between 0.2 and 2.7. The drinking water at SIR WILLIAM VAN HORNE ELEMENTARY is within guideline limits or better. If you are concerned and choose to provide bottled drinking water for your child, please consider using refillable bottles.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority provides additional information and
resources about protecting children from lead in drinking water on their website:
Protecting Children from Lead in Drinking Water at Schools http://www.vch.ca/Documents/Lead-in-drinking-water-protecting-children-at-schools.pdf Protecting yourself from Lead in Drinking Water http://www.vch.ca/Documents/Lead-in-drinking-water-protecting-yourself.pdf
Please contact your school Principal or Vice Principal if you have any additional questions.
J. David Green, Secretary-Treasurer