Eight elementary and secondary schools are being provided with bottle water this week due to elevated lead levels in the water. These schools include:
• Centre Hastings Secondary School
• Earl Prentice Public School
• Prince Charles Public School (Trenton)
• North Trenton Public School
• North Hastings Senior Elementary School
• Quinte Secondary School
• North Hastings High School
• Trenton High School
Water testing was done in anticipation of the return to school. Because schools were closed during the summer, water sat in the pipes for an extended period of time.
“Student and staff safety is our main concern which is why we have arranged to have bottled water delivered to these schools,” remarks Kathy Soule, Director of Education.
School board officials have advised the Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit and are continuing to provide updates. Although there is no immediate danger the bottled water is being provided as a precaution.
To put it in perspective, the acceptable limit is 0.010 milligrams of lead per litre, set at this level to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable, health challenged young children. The limits for the affected schools ranged from 0.0121 mg/L to 0.0262 mg/L.
“We expect the lead levels to return to acceptable limits once there is more activity at schools. Running water through the systems and flushing toilets will help us get there,” explains Don Tregenza, Controller of Facility Services.
Until further notice, water fountains at the affected schools have been bagged. All staff and students have been advised to drink only bottled water. Water tests will be performed again this week. The need for bottled water will be re-evaluated pending those tests.
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board serves more than 16,800 students each day at 46 elementary and 8 secondary schools. Supporting student achievement is the goal of close to 1,800 teaching and support staff who, in addition to the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners, provide the best opportunity for students to learn. The district covers a wide geographical area of 7,221 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south and Quinte West to the west.
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For more information, please contact:
• Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, ext. 2354