Testing of Drinking Water in Schools

December 5, 2017

December 4, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Re: Testing of Drinking Water in Schools

The Langley School District is responsible for testing drinking water in its district facilities, in particular for the presence of lead. The District is compliant in its testing requirements and approved response plan with all governing bodies including Fraser Health and the Ministry of Education. Under the testing plan, districts are required to test one third of the schools considered at-risk (built pre-1990) every year. In the first year of testing, all results were found to be within acceptable limits for those schools tested (Willoughby, Alex Hope, James Kennedy, Langley Fine Arts, Fort Langley, North Otter, Coghlan, Shortreed, Noel Booth).

The second year of testing has now been completed and the results indicate that levels above the maximum allowable limits for the presence of lead for certain stagnant samples has been found in the following schools: Alice Brown, Blacklock, Fundamental Elementary, Glenwood, Douglas Park, Langley Meadows, Uplands. Secondary samples, after water has been flushed from the system for two minutes, show lead levels within allowable limits.

As per the approved response plan, these schools have all undergone a two-minute flush of the drinking water system to clear the stagnant water in the system. This response meets the requirements for the governing bodies as a short-term solution. Stagnant samples are samples taken after a prolonged period of disuse, such as a weekend period over 48 hours, where water is sitting in the pipes and has time to absorb contaminants. A two-minute flushing of the system resulted in samples within allowable limits. Affected schools will undergo a two-minute flushing every Monday. During the week, water is flowing through the system and lead levels do not exceed maximum acceptable limits. Testing of water samples will be repeated at affected schools in the coming weeks to monitor lead levels. Additionally, as a pro-active measure, remaining schools that have not yet been tested will be tested as soon as possible.

The long-term solution includes installing central filtered water bottle filling stations. Installation of central water bottle filling stations is currently underway and will be completed at the affected schools by January 8, 2018 when students return to school after winter break. Concerns or questions may be emailed to feedback@sd35.bc.ca.

Sincerely,

Gord Stewart
Superintendent of Schools

Complete test results are posted here