Lead has been found in drinking water at seven elementary schools in Langley.
Lead levels above the maximum allowable limit have been found at Alice Brown, Blacklock, Langley Fundamental Elementary, Glenwood, Douglas Park, Langley Meadows and Uplands, the school district announced.
Superintendent Gord Stewart has sent a letter home to parents notifying them that the required testing was conducted and some results showed lead in the stagnant water.
Under the testing plan, districts are required to test one-third of the schools considered at-risk (those built before 1990) every year.
In the first year of testing, all results were found to be within acceptable limits for those schools tested (Willoughby, Alex Hope, James Kennedy, Langley Fine Arts, Fort Langley, North Otter, Coghlan, Shortreed and Noel Booth.)
The second year of testing has concluded and that’s when the higher levels of lead were detected, said Stewart.
“As per the approved response plan, these schools have all undergone a two-minute flush of the drinking water system to clear the stagnant water in the system,” said Stewart.
“Stagnant samples are samples taken after a prolonged period of disuse, such as a weekend period over 48 hours, where water is sitting in the pipes and has time to absorb contaminants. A two-minute flushing of the system resulted in samples within allowable limits.”
Affected schools will undergo a two-minute flushing every Monday. During the week, water is flowing through the system and lead levels do not exceed maximum acceptable limits.
Testing of water samples will be repeated at affected schools in the coming weeks to monitor lead levels.
Additionally, as a pro-active measure, remaining schools that have not yet been tested will be tested as soon as possible, said Stewart.
The long-term solution includes installing central filtered-water bottle filling stations. Installation is currently underway and will be completed at the affected schools by Jan. 8, 2018 when students return to school after winter break.
Last year in Surrey, six elementary schools’ drinking water was found to have eight times the allowable lead levels.
To see an entire breakdown of testing results, go to the Langley School District website.
Concerns or questions can be emailed to email@example.com.