Jun 21, 2021

Water at Ontario, Canada, Waterloo Region Public Schools Discover High Lead Levels

The Waterloo Region District School Board will flush the drinking fountains daily for the next two years as a result of the lead levels.

lead in water

Water samples taken at four public schools in Ontario, Canada, from June 2021 show lead levels are higher than the national safety guideline.

The schools are Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School, Stewart Avenue Public School, John Darling Public School and Elmira District Secondary School, reported The Waterloo Regional Record.

Water samples taken June 9 to 10 at KCI showed levels of lead in two drinking fountains were higher than provincial targets, according to the principal in a letter, reported The Waterloo Regional Record. Tests at John Darling school on June 11 found one tap water fountain to exceed lead targets. 

Elmira District testing on June 1 discovered that one drinking fountain was affected, and in this case the fountain will be permanently removed. Water tested at Stewart Avenue on June 10 was found to exceed acceptable lead levels. One other school in the Waterloo Region District School Board, Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute, was found to exceed acceptable lead levels as well. 

The Waterloo Region District School Board will flush the drinking fountains daily for the next two years as a result.

“Please know that we will continue to work on corrective measures until we meet the provincially set standards,” principal Dennis Haid said in the letter, reported The Waterloo Regional Record. “Further communication about these corrective measures will be sent home as necessary, to keep our community informed.”

The school board reported lead levels exceeded targets at 12 of its schools and an Alternative Education building in Cambridge in 2020, according to The Waterloo Regional Record. In 2019, 28 schools were identified with high lead levels, in 2018, 25 schools, and in 2017 there were 18 schools.

Overall, there are 105 elementary schools at the public school board and 16 secondary schools, which follow the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s laws on drinking water.

The school board has listed schools that have previously reported lead exceedance here.

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