12th May 2017
After writing to the Board for the third time, I received the following responses to our questions. The responses are bolded directly under our additional questions. I have been advised that "various staff members" answered these questions!
Good morning and thank you for sending some of the answers to me. We would like answers to all of our questions please.
I have been onto the website and have had a cursory look at both Parts of the report.
The areas I am missing response to are as follows which are based on my presentation to you:
1. 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?
As indicated in the letter, staff will take your suggestions under consideration.
2. It is recommended that you send the drinking water results to staff. Why are they not being sent to parents??
Parents/Guardians/Caregivers of enrolled students were given a letter, dated April 20, 2017, that contained information on water testing and how they could obtain further information.
3. It is also said in this section that staff “should” instruct students and visitors about the drinking water procedures. Staff? Which staff are you tasking to do this?
As indicated in the presentation, District Facilities staff met with principals of the schools that were tested. Principals were asked to share with staff flushing procedures and provide an update on any remedial work being performed at their respective school. Signs were placed clearly visible for staff and students to read.
4. 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?
The current plan is to comply with Ministry of Education policy. As indicated in the letter, staff are currently examining its testing schedule for all schools or buildings. As indicated in the letter, staff will take your suggestions under consideration.
5. In your response, you say “To address lead content in the water lines, the district has had a long-standing practice to flush the lines for two minutes prior to consumption. This is for the benefit of students and staff. No measure of how much water is flushed has been determined”. I am asking why? In addition the report indicated that water should be run until it is cold. This is in addition to the 2 minute run. How much water is actually lost? Do you truly believe that students are doing this process all the time?
Clear instructions have been set by the district and is approved by the engineering firm and Island Health. Once again, no measure of how much water is flushed has been determined. To eliminate lead content, the district must flush lines before human consumption.
6. We also need to know if the District is considering utilizing filters as suggested in my presentation versus “throwing water away”?? Again, the reading I have done indicates flushing is considered a temporary fix and not a permanent fix.
The district is exploring funding options. As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude will come at a considerable cost. As indicated in the letter, staff will take your suggestions under consideration.
With thanks to your attention to this letter....
I have bcc’d the Core Group of VIWWC as well as one PAC group.
I doubt like the dickens anything is going to change unless we have a huge hue and outcry from PAC groups and parents. I believe this entire issue is a travesty, but I cannot do the battle on my own. It is your children and grandchildren. I would like to understand when it is you are prepared to do battle for them? You can contact me through this website if you are wanting to do anything more.
Acting Chair - VIWWC