Bottled water and plumbing work at the school’s cafeteria are part of the mitigation efforts taking place at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute (PECI) after elevated levels of lead were discovered in recent water samples.
In a letter/email sent out on Wednesday to families with children at PECI, recent sampling revealed elevated lead levels in the cafeteria at 23 micrograms per litre (µg/L).
The Ontario drinking water quality standard for lead is 10 µg/L.
According to HPEDSB spokesperson Kerry Donnell, water at Board of Ed. schools in the area is tested annually as per provincial guideline.
Other water supply areas in the school have been tested for lead and the water remains safe to drink.
“As a result of these above-standard lead levels, bottled water has been supplied to the cafeteria and the cafeteria has been kept closed to allow for plumbing work on the sinks and dishwashers,” stated Andrew Ross, Principal at PECI. “Once we receive favourable results from additional lead testing, the cafeteria will return to normal operation; we expect to receive results before the end of this week.”
As part of the school board reporting procedure, under the Safe Drinking Water Act, PECI are required to notify the Local Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and the Ministry of Education. As part of their proactive measures, they’re also notifying families with a letter/email.
Due to staffing circumstances, the school cafeteria was open for approximately 8 business days this year. Cafeteria services were only available to secondary students.