Education minister asks school boards to notify parents of lead in drinking water in ‘timely manner’
2017 sampling reveals more lead in school drinking water One year after the Star began asking questions about lead concentrations in drinking water at schools and daycares in Ontario, the province’s education ministry is telling boards they must inform parents when a school fails a lead test.
That new direction was given days before the Star published a story showing that more than 640 schools and daycares failed lead tests in the past two years.
New rules established this year require every tap used for drinking water to be tested by 2020 in schools and daycares with primary divisions, or 2022 for all other schools.
Previously, schools were only required to test one tap a year.
In Peel public schools, lead testing and any required repairs were undertaken in the summer months.
The letter did not provide any information about when the sampling was conducted or what lead concentrations were detected.
When Klement learned from the Star that the testing had been conducted over the summer and that lead concentrations above the provincial standard were found in samples from four of the school’s 22 fixtures, it was a “big concern” for her that parents were notified only in November, she said.
The province says this approach has in many cases effectively reduced concentrations Lanphear, though, told the Star that flushing is not a long-term solution.
He also said the school should investigate the cause of the lead in fountains where concentrations above five parts per billion were detected and plan to repair them within a couple months.
Wylie said it’s not enough to address the backlog of various repairs needed at schools across the province.