A precise estimate isn’t yet available on what it would cost to replace all the plumbing in both Rossland Secondary School and MacLean Elementary, but a quote should be coming soon, along with more answers as to why lead is leaching into the schools’ water systems.
Heather Simm, assistant director of operations for School District 20 (SD 20) told the school board at a regular meeting Monday night that the cost of a full plumbing replacement is a question that has been asked a lot lately, and the district should have an answer soon.
In the meantime, water samples have been taken from various locations to determine where the highest concentrations of lead are.
Simm said a few of the water fountains in MacLean and a couple of taps in RSS had levels of lead that exceeded Health Canada guidelines, and they have been disconnected for the time being.
Students in both schools are provided with bottled water to drink — an initiative Simm said isn’t required by the district.
“We haven’t been ordered to do anything,” she said.
To rule out other sources, water samples have been taken from pipes on and off school property.
“We have tested the actual city water for lead,” Simm told the board, explaining that the sample tested negative.
The district is waiting on results from a sample taken where the line connects to MacLean, and a sample will be taken from the main line in the spring.
Trustee Mark Wilson asked Simm if the showers in each school had been tested, but Simm said it wasn’t necessary as exposure to the water through showering isn’t a major health concern.