Letter to Parents: Testing of Drinking Water in Schools
March 8, 2018
Re: Testing of Drinking Water in Schools
The Langley School District has continued its commitment to test drinking water in district facilities, in particular for the presence of lead. The ‘first third’ of schools tested under the 3-year plan all posted results within acceptable limits for lead (Willoughby, Alex Hope, James Kennedy, Langley Fine Arts, Fort Langley, North Otter, Coghlan, Shortreed, Noel Booth). In December 2017, under the testing requirements and approved response plan with governing bodies including Fraser Health and the Ministry of Education, testing continued of the ‘second third’ of those schools built pre-1990. Of the second group, levels above acceptable limits were found in the following schools: Alice Brown, Blacklock, Fundamental Elementary, Glenwood, Douglas Park, Langley Meadows and Uplands. Secondary samples, after water has been flushed from the system for two minutes, show lead levels within allowable limits. Initially, as per the approved response plan, these schools instituted a two-minute flush of the drinking water system to clear the stagnant water. Since that time the long-term solution of removing affected drinking fountains and installing filtered water bottle/drinking stations has been completed. Upon discovery of levels above the acceptable limits in some tested schools in December 2017, the District chose to conduct tests on all remaining schools immediately rather than wait until the third year of the testing plan. Of the remaining schools tested, Brookswood Secondary and Langley Secondary were found to have above acceptable levels in stagnant water tests. The two-minute flushing procedure was instituted immediately until the replacement of affected fountains could be completed. Since that time installation of new fixtures and the addition of filters at Brookswood and Langley Secondary has been completed. All Langley schools built before 1990 have now been tested for lead in the water. Those school fountains that were found to have above acceptable levels have all been removed and/or fitted with filtered water stations. For more information and a list of testing results, please visit the District website at www.sd35.bc.ca under Our District > Administrative Departments > Facilities Maintenance and Transportation.
Gord Stewart, Superintendent of Schools