Health Canada released a new national guideline for lead in drinking water in March 2019. The guideline lowered the allowable levels of lead in drinking water, from 0.01 mg/L (milligrams per litre) to 0.005 mg/L (milligrams per litre).
In September 2020, the Office of the Auditor General released their report on the “Provincial Oversight of Drinking Water Safety”. The report recommends that the province require all schools and childcare centres to promptly, and periodically thereafter, test for lead, and that the department of Conservation and Climate publicly report the results of these tests and corrective actions taken.”
In response to the new guideline, and because lead may be found in older materials used in plumbing systems, Discovery Children’s Centre has conducted tests of all water fountains and faucets to ensure lead levels meet the current guideline.
Water testing in Discovery Children’s Centre, conducted in 2021, identified one (1) water fountain that exceeded acceptable lead levels. The water fountain has not been used since before COVID (March 2019) and now has been covered and a “do not drink” sign is posted until it is replaced with a new “water fill station”.
Information about lead, including health risks and how to test the water in your own home, can be found at https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/pubs/water/drinking_water/rld_homechildcare.pdf.
For additional health-related questions on lead, you can call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll free at 1-888-315-9257, or contact your local public health office at www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/offices.html
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