Hamilton public schools fail drinking tap lead test

02 Aug Hamilton public schools fail drinking tap lead test

Hamilton public schools fail drinking tap lead test

Drinking taps at 31 Hamilton public schools have failed a provincially regulated tap water lead test.

A new provincial regulation was introduced last July, giving Ontario school boards three years to test all drinking water fountains and sink taps used for food/drink preparation. The regulation states that each fixture must be tested twice; once before running, for up to ten seconds, and once after running to test if they exceed the lead limit of ten parts per billion. Taps that fail the post-flushing test are taken out of service until fixed or replaced. Fixtures within the lead limit on the second test are flushed daily.

Testing began last fall, as the HWDSB tested 600 taps- a third of all fixtures in the board, consisting of 102 schools. The first round of testing revealed that 24 schools had exceedances, leading them to decide to test the remaining 1200 fixtures this year.

This summer, 15 drinking taps have been taken out of service, including two apiece at Ancaster Senior and Dundas Central schools. As of July 16, 56 taps at 31 schools had failed at least one test. Results continue to come in, until the end of the month; which will reveal the rest of the results.

The school board’s websites of individual schools are continuing to post updates concerning the lead problem, including what schools have failed the test. Although students are out of school for the summer, it is important that families are still informed of the issue.

Hamilton public schools will be repeatedly testing the water on a regular basis, as the regulation states. This guideline will allow the board to track any oncoming issues, and most importantly, ensure that students are consuming safe, clean water.

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