Welcome to the Health and Safety Blog

I would like to welcome you to a new dimension for the Health and Safety office of the Greater Victoria Teachers' Association. Here you will find messages, advice, links and other gadgets related to health and safety, as well as our teaching profession.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Water Quality

Welcome back Health and Safety reps to a new year. You no doubt returned to find signs up and water fountains bagged and tagged. While the District is moving as quickly as it can to remediate the problem in schools, it will take a few more months to remediate every school.

In the meantime here are some links to follow for more information and some FAQs that have come across my desk.
a) The District has posted information regarding the testing and results from each school here: SD 61. The map of the school is helpful in identifying troubled spots, however, does not indicate where in that school the spot is located. Your custodian will have a map. I suggest that the JOHS Committee obtain a map for teachers to view.

b) The filters installed by the District are of a high standard. Some fountains and staff room sinks have been fitted with the filters.

c) VIHA advice about using water (found here) recommends using cold water for cooking and drinking . Run the tap for 15 to 30 seconds before using.

d) Boiling water does not get rid of the lead. In fact it can increase the lead in the kettle as the lead accumulates as the water evaporates.

e) There is no health risk associated with washing your hands or brushing your teeth with the water.

f) Your custodian will flush the system each morning. Any spot that has a significantly higher than maximum level reading, the spot will be flushed more often.

g) Here are the recommendations from the company who undertook the testing:

1) If lead levels are below 50 mg/L replace taps and retest. If lead levels remain above 10 mg/L, add a filter. 
2) If lead levels are > 50 mg/L, replace taps and add filter. 
3) If still getting high lead after putting in filter and replacing taps, may need to replace fountain or do further investigation to determine source of lead contamination. 

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