SD52 said it’s providing bottled water to students and staff. (Flickr photo)

SD52 schools using bottled water, waiting on results from copper levels in drinking water

New guidelines cut down the allowable limit for lead and copper in drinking water

SD52 is providing bottled water for their students following concerns that their copper levels do not meet new federal requirements.

In 2019 the amount of acceptable levels of copper in drinking water was reduced.

Irene LaPierre, superintendent of SD52, said that the school board is waiting on the results of flush testing they conducted, but for the time being they are “airing on the side of safety and caution for students and staff”.

Annunciation School, which is not part of SD52, declined to comment on their water testing results.

Mayor Lee Brain issued a statement clarifying that the issue had nothing to do with the city.

“The recent message from School District 52 relates to their plumbing infrastructure and new water standards […] Prince Rupert delivers water that is well within the new Canada Health guidelines for both lead and copper. Additionally, it’s important to understand that the city has minimal amounts of copper within our supply and distribution system,” he stated.

The water bottle usage will last until SD52 receives their results back from Northern Health.

In 2019, the new guidelines also cut the allowable limit for lead in water in half. Following a number of tests, SD52 found that flushing of water lines is not effective to reduce lead levels in water. SD52 said the filtered water fountains are effective for the reduction of lead in water and encourage students and staff to use them, once they have resolved their copper concerns.

READ MORE: Unacceptable levels of lead found in water at four schools

READ MORE: Elevated levels of lead found in homes after City of Prince Rupert tests first flushing


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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