Communication Update – Water at Sprucedale Public School

AMDSB would like to advise staff, students, parents/caregivers of Sprucedale Public School that bottled water will be provided during the week of September 4-7. Water fixtures may be used for hand washing and washing dishes and utensils. New equipment was installed over the summer which, in the short term, has impacted some parameters (e.g. sodium) in the drinking water, which can affect the taste, odour or appearance of the water. AMDSB is performing additional flushing of the system, which will continue the week of September 3-7. Water samples will be taken and tested to ensure these parameters have returned to recommended levels before discontinuing the bottled water procedure.

Background

As part of the drinking water testing over the summer months, AMDSB received laboratory results that indicated arsenic levels were above the current Ontario Drinking Water Standards. The maximum allowable concentration (MAC) was changed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks from 0.025mg/L to 0.010mg/L earlier this year to align with the limits set by Health Canada and the World Health Organization based on the latest worldwide science, research and information on long-term arsenic exposure and health. The level of arsenic measured at Sprucedale Public School was 0.012mg/L, exceeding this newly legislated limit. This exceedance did not represent a change from previous readings, but in order to align with current legislation, precautions have been taken. AMDSB responded immediately to install additional water treatment equipment to reduce traces of arsenic in the drinking water. The equipment is now operational and water testing results have confirmed that arsenic has been reduced below the 0.010mg/L limit. The additional flushing noted above is due to the installation of the equipment, which affected the parameters mentioned (e.g. sodium).

AMDSB would like to thank the staff at the Perth District Health Unit and Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for their assistance at Sprucedale Public School. If anyone requires more information about drinking water, please contact PDHU Health Line at 519-271-7600 ext. 267.”