Ten fountains removed from Campbell River schools for lead contamination

Two fountains at École des Deux Mondes, to at Cedar Elementary and six at Robron Centre

Testing at Campbell River schools showed 10 fountains to be not up to health standards. All have been removed, but it has not yet been decided if all will be replaced.

Ten water fountains have been removed from three local schools for failing recent water quality tests.

Superintendent Tom Longridge told the board of education at this week’s public meeting that the district has all their water fountains tested annually for possible contaminants, and two fountains at Cedar Elementary, two at École des Deux Mondes (EDM) and six at Robron Centre have been removed after the latest round of testing found them to have been “above public health regulations for lead.”

The levels of contaminants found in the fountains at EDM and Cedar were determined to be due to them being “low flow,” Longridge says, which means not enough water was running through their pipes. The testing at other fountains within the school that were also “seldom-used,” it has been determined that the problem was with the fountains themselves and not within the school’s pipes or other infrastructure.

The six fountains at Robron Centre will be replaced by new stainless steel fountains that are on order, Longridge told the board, and should be installed within the next few weeks, but they have not yet decided whether to replace the ones removed from Cedar and EDM.

Secondary results from the Robron testing was due to be received by the district on Wednesday to determine if the issue extends any further back into the system than the fountains in question, which Longridge says “would be a different mitigation challenge for us that we would then take care of.”

Longridge also says the district takes water quality very seriously and credited safety officer Paul Reid and Island Health for “making sure the water that students have access to is safe, frequently tested and any problems that are arise are immediately remediated.”