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

Discussion centres on the future of English Grade 8 at RSS

Parents met with the principal to discuss the future of English Grade 8 at Rossland Summit School.

Rossland St. Andrew’s United Church planning for restoration

Rossland’s United Church has received a CBT grant to support a restoration of the Red Roof Church.

Interior Health facilities score high in housekeeping audits

Housekeeping audits for health facilities in the region show most are above the auditor’s benchmark.

RCMP urge drivers to be more cautious

The top causes of accidents in the West Kootenay are distracted driving, impaired driving and speed.

FortisBC explains rate change proposal

FortisBC met with customers in Castlegar to explain their new time-of-use rate proposal.

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Suspected serial killer targeting Toronto gay community now faces six murder charges

Bruce McArthur now charged with murders of six men: Toronto police

Trump suggests more guns in schools to combat shootings

Trump floats two-step plan for gun control: More guns, more control

Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

Russian Bobsled Federation states a drug-test sample that pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva gave on Sunday was positive.

Indigenous leaders call for change after ‘system fails’ Tina Fontaine

‘All of us should be ashamed’: Calls for change after jury finds Raymond Cormier not guilty

Atwal fiasco dogs Trudeau; PM pledges a ‘conversation’ with MP responsible

Trudeau is being peppered with questions about the lingering controversy

Germany upsets Canada in Olympic men’s hockey

Germany 4 Canada 3; Germans play OAR for gold; Canada and Czechs go for bronze

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Most Read