Drinking Water Quality Program

The Delta School District is committed to the health and safety of all its students and staff.  At the request of the Provincial Health Officer via the Ministry of Education to all school districts in the Province in early 2016, the Delta School District established a plan to evaluate water quality in Delta schools and to ensure that all schools have access to clean drinking water.  

Click here to open the complete report on where we have been, where we are at and where we are going with our drinking water quality program.

 
Updates:

  • 07 February 2017 - PHASE 5 - TESTING OF CANTEEN/KITCHEN/MEDICAL ROOM SINKS is scheduled for Spring Break involving the sampling and testing of sinks (currently with flushing protocol decals affixed) in canteens, kitchens off gymansiums, multi-purpose rooms and special need rooms, foods rooms missed during initial testing, and medical rooms (not including attached washrooms).  Depending on the results, flushing protocols at those fixtures may remain (if fail pre-flushing only), be lifted (if pass pre-flushing) or be replaced with "not intended for drinking decals" until re-piping can be scheduled.  Compulsory water quality testing at every pre-1990 site will take place every three years, in accordance with Ministry of Education policy, along with random voluntary testing annually.  Results will be shared with affected schools
  • 02 February 2017 - Re-piping of sinks in foods rooms (Delview, South Delta) and cafeteria kitchen (North Delta), which failed initial testing, is completed over Christmas Break and re-sampled.  New test results recieved and all re-piped fixtures are now in compliance with decals removed.  PHASE 4 - ADDITIONAL RE-PIPING COMPLETE
  • 15 November 2016 - District Executive Committee approves funding for Facilities Branch staff to supply and install one new, non-refrigerated combination drinking fountain/bottle filler unit, replacing an existing drinking fountain at every school.  The intent is to locate this unit in a centralized location at each school (unless such a combination unit already exists - then an alternate location will be selected) so that staff and students can conveniently fill their water bottles in place of using a washroom or classroom sink (not intended for drinking water) or a bubbler at a drinking fountain.  Work to be completed by 31 March 2017.
  • 28 October 2016 - In pre-1990 buildings which had at least one test fail in Phase 1, Facilities Branch staff complete installation of vinyl decals at classroom sinks, pod sinks, washroom sinks, multi-purpose and music room sinks, science rooms, art rooms, tech ed shops, textile rooms, etc. advising that water from those faucets are not intended for drinking and to use the nearest drinking fountain.  As well, affected sinks in other rooms where we weren't able to complete re-piping this summer (i.e. a couple of foods rooms and kitchens) have decals advising users to run water for 2 minutes prior to first use of the day; once we remediate those locations, this signage will be removed.  PHASE 3 - IDENTIFICATION SIGNAGE - COMPLETE
  • 18 October 2016 - Test results received 04 October 2016.  57 of 72 drinking fountains and sinks re-piped now meet Health Canada maximum acceptable concentration of lead.  It was revealed that the re-pipe contractors failed to flush out the new lines and re-installed fountains, the latter of which could still have trace elements of lead resulting in the slightly higher than acceptable concentrations.  Temporary flushing signage installed at the 15 fountains, Facilities Branch staff immediately thoroughly flush all fountains and wait to re-sample the weekend of 08 October 2016.  New test results received and all re-piped fixtures now in compliance.  PHASE 2 - INITIAL RE-PIPING AND DECOMMISSIONING - COMPLETE
  • 01 September 2016 - The Delta School District enacted a multi-staged process to assess, address, and repair or remove water-drinking sources that did not meet current health and safety guidelines.  During the assessment phase, we worked with our local health authorities, and initiated testing on all sites that were built before 1989. We had an accredited, independent laboratory test our water samples.  Although the majority of positive test results showed only trace amounts of lead above allowable levels, we realized that this was an issue that required immediate and planned attention.  We are pleased to report that by the end of the week (September 2nd) District Facilities staff will have completed a project involving a combination of re-piping and decommissioning of all drinking fountains which failed initial testing for lead.  The next step, once the drinking fountains have been in service for at least one week, will be to re-test the water quality at those locations. This is a precautionary measure, as we are confident that the extensive and detailed repair and replacement work has been successful in resolving the issues.  Facilities staff will then be posting signage at classroom sinks, pod sinks, washroom sinks, multi-purpose and room sinks advising that water from those faucets are not intended for drinking and to use the nearest drinking fountain.  Affected sinks in other rooms where we weren't able to complete re-piping this summer (i.e. a couple of foods rooms and kitchens) will have signs advising users to run water for two minutes prior to first use of the day; once we remediate those locations, this signage will be removed.
  • 17 May 2016 - Final set of test results received for English Bluff Elementary School.  Slightly positive lead levels above the maximum acceptable level in "pre-flush" pipe water (4 of 16 samples were above the maximum acceptable level).  3 of these positive tests were in drinking fountains and one was in a classroom sink.  In "post-flush" testing, no sources were still above the maximum acceptable level.  All fixtures showed significant decline in lead levels after flushing to well below maximum acceptable levels.  Flushing protocols to remain at English Bluff until further notice.  PHASE 1 - INITIAL TESTING - COMPLETE
  • 14 May 2016 - Test results received for Brooke, South Park, Beach Grove and Pebble Hill Elementary Schools, and South Delta Secondary School.  All sites showed slightly positive lead levels above the maximum acceptable level in "pre-flush" pipe water (16 out of 86 samples were above the maximum acceptable level).  14 of these positive tests were in drinking fountains, one was in a classroom sink and one was in a Foods Room sink.  In "post-flush" testing, no sources were still above the maximum acceptable level.  All fixtures showed significant decline in lead levels after flushing to well below maximum acceptable levels.  Flushing protocols to remain at Brooke, South Park, Beach Grove, Pebble Hill and South Delta until further notice.
  • 13 May 2016 - Test results received for McCloskey, Sunshine Hills, Hellings, Heath, Pinewood, Cougar Canyon, Gibson and Devon Gardens Elementary Schools, and Seaquam and Delview Secondary Schools.   Both Cougar Canyon and Seaquam had no issues with water quality pre- or post-flushing in any potable water fixture.  Flushing protocol lifted at those locations.  The other sites showed slightly positive lead levels above the maximum acceptable level in "pre-flush" pipe water (30 out of 148 samples were above the maximum acceptable level).  28 of these positive tests were in drinking fountains, one was in a classroom pod area sink and one was in a Foods Room sink.  In "post-flush" testing, only three sources (drinking fountains outside the seminar room in Pod C at McCloskey, outside the main floor girls washroom at Heath, and outside the seminar room in Pod A at Gibson) were still above the maximum acceptable level and have been immediately removed from service.  All other fixtures showed significant decline in lead levels after flushing to well below maximum acceptable levels.  Flushing protocols to remain at McCloskey, Sunshine Hills, Hellings, Heath, Pinewood, Gibson, Devon Gardens and Delview until further notice.
  • 12 May 2016 - Test results received for North Delta Secondary, Sands Secondary, Richardson Elementary, Holly Elementary and Delta Manor Education Centre. Each site showed slightly positive lead levels above the maximum acceptable level in "pre-flush" pipe water (13 out of 72 samples were above the maximum acceptable level). 12 of these positive tests were in drinking fountains and one was in the cafeteria kitchen faucet. In "post-flush" testing, only one source (underutilized drinking fountain outside the woodwork shop at Sands) was still above the maximum acceptable level and was immediately removed from service. All other fixtures showed significant decline in lead levels after flushing to well below maximum acceptable levels. All drinking fountains at Delta Manor Education Centre have since been removed, with the exception of the unit outside the gymnasium which did not have positive lead levels above the maximum acceptable level in "pre-flush", therefore the flushing protocol at that site has been lifted. Flushing protocols to remain at the other four locations until further notice.
  • 11 May 2016 - Test results received for Burnsview Secondary, Chalmers Elementary, Gray Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary, Jarvis Elementary and Port Guichon Elementary. Each school showed slightly positive lead levels above the maximum acceptable level in "pre-flush" pipe water (36 out of 120 samples were above the maximum acceptable level). 34 of these positive tests were in drinking fountains and two were in staff room faucets. In "post-flush" testing, only one source (underutilized drinking fountain at Port Guichon) was still above the maximum acceptable level and was immediately removed from service. All other fixtures showed significant decline in lead levels after flushing to well below maximum acceptable levels. Flushing protocols to remain at all six locations until further notice.
  • 10 May 2016 - Test results received for Delta Secondary - no issues with water quality pre- or post-flushing in any potable water fixture. Flushing protocol lifted at the location.
  • 01 May 2016 - Water quality samples taken from drinking fountains, staff room sinks, foods room sinks and secondary school kitchen sinks at 28 remaining District sites constructed before 1989.  Samples delivered to the testing laboratory 02 May 2016.
  • 27 April 2016 - Facilities Branch put together an initial mitigation plan that includes removing from service any fixture that tests above the maximum acceptable level post-flushing and instructing administrators at sites constructed prior to 1989 to run water for a couple of minutes at all drinking fountains and classroom faucets each morning to mitigate any trace of any potential contaminants in the water until further notice.
  • 26 April 2016 - Water quality test results received for exemplar schools (Annieville, Cliff Drive and Ladner Elementary Schools). Each school showed slightly positive lead levels above the maximum acceptable level in "pre-flush" pipe water (8 out of 15 samples were above the maximum acceptable level). Three of these positive tests were in drinking fountains. In "post-flush" testing, only one source (underutilized drinking fountain at Annieville) was still above the maximum acceptable level and was immediately removed from service. All other fixtures showed significant decline in lead levels after flushing to well below maximum acceptable levels.  Flushing protocols to remain at all three locations until further notice.

Facilities staff is evaluating each drinking water location to determine appropriate measures for remediation.  These measures may include any or all of the following:

  • New water lines/pipes to the potable water fixtures;
  • Installation of new drinking fountains, bottle filling stations and/or faucets at potable water sinks;
  • Installation of fountain filtration systems;
  • Installation of automatic flushing devices;
  • Removal of the fountain/sink—where it is underutilized;
  • Installation of signage at drinking fountains instructing users to run water for 90 seconds before drinking until such time that the unit and/or piping is replaced.