7th May 2017
On April 26th, this writer presented our concerns and questions to the Board of Trustees in regard their report on the lead content within the District 68 Buildings drinking water.
I did not pre- send my presentation to the Board, therefore, there were no answers given to the myriad of questions or concerns. I was assured however that written answers would be provided. I advised them we did not want to wait for months to receive those answers.
I began my presentation with a quote from Randall Kahgee, former chief, Saugeen First Nation. The quote is as follows:
"Water is speaking to us, but are we listening? We are all treaty people - a piece of us is dying. Complacency and ignorance are no longer acceptable. We have to be the voice for generations to come. Our grandchildren will look back and ask, Why did they not act to save our precious water? I want to be able to look in the mirror and know that I did my best."
This quote accurately reflects the place I am at in my life.
I have attached my presentation and once again, the Report here. I also referred the Trustees to three articles. 2 were from Health Canada and the third one is entitled "Lead in School Drinking Water:Canada Can and Should Address This Important Ongoing Exposure Source". This latter article is where we are told, flushing is a temporary fix only. Filters should be installed. I have asked the Trustees to look and re look at this report and make the adjustments necessary and address all of the concerns that we expressed. I have also requested the actual readings of the many tests that were done.
I believe we are all going to have to keep on top of this issue to ensure our answers are forthcoming.
For any of you reading this article, if you have any questions, you can contact me at jross12telus.net
TESTING FOR LEAD CONTENT IN DRINKING WATER IN PRE 1990 BUILT SCHOOLS/BLDGS.
April 26th, 2017
Good evening to you all,
Many thanks to you for allowing me to come before you tonight.
After having read the 16-page presentation report on Lead Testing in District 68 schools and buildings twice, I have become increasingly concerned.
I am going to go through the document page by page to ask my questions and make my comments;
PAGE 3- 42 schools/buildings built before 1990
7 schools/buildings built on or after 1991
Is this a correct interpretation of the chart?
PAGE 4- This section indicates that all samples were taken after midnight on Sundays to represent the worst case scenario. I do not agree that this is the worst case scenario.
There are two week closures during the year and two months during the summer. Are you going to retest at these times in the year?
PAGE 7- This area indicates that “98% of samples cleared to “acceptable levels” ...”
What are acceptable levels please?
PAGE 8 – Why are you not showing the specific readings? I request specific readings for all tests done please.
PAGE 9 – Summary and Conclusions;
How much water is sent down the drain with a 2 minute flush every time that is done in each school location?
How much water is sent down the drain every time the tap is run until it is cold in each school location?
When we are in the midst of climate change and when we know there are many locations on this Island that have a water shortage, I find it very difficult to accept the methodology you are suggesting to be used!
The report indicates that the procedures are “sufficient” to reduce the lead concentration. What on earth is sufficient??
It is recommended that you send the drinking water results to staff. Why are they not being sent to parents??
It is also said in this section that staff “should” instruct students and visitors about the drinking water procedures. This is ludicrous! Staff? Which staff are you tasking to do this?
If I had a child or a grandchild attending any of the schools, I would be extremely dismayed with this report. I would likely pull my child from attending public school!
The signage is not good enough as you are assuming that everyone that enters a school speaks English! You know that is not true! That alone is a huge problem.
Further questions outside the report:
What is the strategy for the remaining schools that have not been tested?
Are the fixes only going to be applied in the facilities built before 1991?
Is there going to be an ongoing monitoring program and if deficiencies are still found, what corrective measures will be taken?
Do schools built after 1990 get a free pass, or will they be checked periodically?
There has to be a way to re mediate the problems without putting the onus onto staff and students to not ingest lead! Remediation must be used that does not use the amount of water you know will be used with the process that has been recommended.
Do we need to go out to parents and get them to go and have their children tested for lead content?
There is a better way to do all of this regardless of any cost involved. The cost will remain high for you to take the easy way out of this.