Water issues will remain unresolved for Rossland schools

The school board threw a wrench into turning on the tap for a project to replace the lead saturated water pipes of Rossland’s two schools.

The school board threw a wrench into turning on the tap for a project to replace the lead saturated water pipes of Rossland’s two schools.

In their inaugural meeting last week at Trail Middle School, the School District No. 20 (Kootenay-Columbia) board of trustees opted to postpone decision on recommendations arising out of a commissioned report outlining options dealing with deteriorating water quality at the school.

The board had been advised by district staff they should “re-pipe the water service main from the street and re-pipe cold water distribution within the schools to points of consumption” as the recommended course of action.

SD20 assistant director of operations, Heather Simms, told the board the report’s author, Stantec, noted that option was cheaper than re-piping the entire school but could still be a long-term solution to the problem.

Currently, students in the schools use bottled water supplied by SD20.

At a cost of $64,000 for MacLean Elementary and $127,000 for Rossland Secondary, trustee Toni Driutti asked if changing the pipes would finally resolve the issue of the high lead saturation level in the water.

“Who is going to guarantee to us that if we spend this kind of money, that the problem will be fixed? Is there a guarantee?” she asked.

“It doesn’t come with a guarantee,” said Simms.

The money was proposed to come out of the annual facilities grant, non-shareable capital reserves or a request be sent to the Ministry of Education for emergent capital or regular capital project.

Trustee Mark Wilson balked at the figures thrown around and asked that the matter be referred to the finance and facilities committee for more research, postponing a decision on it at the board level.

He framed the issue by asking what the future of the two Rossland schools would be, and felt a postponement was necessary until that question was answered.

But the issue of elevated levels of lead in the two school’s water supply had been booted around at the board table since March, 2009, said trustee Mickey Kinakin.

Since then, several solutions have been tried, including replacing plumbing within the school fountains, placing filters at the fountains, as well as a commercial water filter installed at the source in MacLean Elementary.

“This issue needs to be addressed now, not spun around the mulberry bush one more time,” he said.

His plea was ignored.

The board voted in favour of postponement and referral to the committee, to be brought back to the board at a later date for final decision.

In the commissioned report, elevated lead levels, above those permitted by Health Canada guidelines, were found in all 10 water samples analyzed, as well as both solder samples.

Some piping in RSS was noted to be galvanized.

“Though not analyzed, the zinc coating also most likely contains lead,” the Stantec report read.


Just Posted

Paintings by Syrian father and son end long journey at VISAC Gallery in Trail

The paintings on display at the VISAC Gallery in Trail have been through a lot

Thoughtexchange asks Rossland Council to support mixed-use on midtown lands site

A representative from Thoughtexchange attended Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Rossland remembers

Hundreds gathered for Remembrance Day ceremonies Saturday on Rossland’s main street.

Seven Summits celebrates grand opening

“Over 1,000 volunteer hours went into this renovation.”

Seven Summits Centre for Learning in Rossland receives $5,000 for robotics program

The local learning centre has received $5,000 from Telus for a robotics program.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Forecast calls for a snowy Canadian winter

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip celebrate 70th anniversary

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary

Charles Manson, leader of murderous ’60s cult, dead at 83

Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

VIDEO: Coquihalla reopens near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

Most Read