The Powell River School District says it has taken many steps to make sure its drinking water meets Health Canada recommendations.

This response comes after a collection of provincial studies and other materials accessed through a freedom of information request first published by Global News showed that a few schools in Powell River had higher levels of lead concentration than the Health Canada recommendation of five ppb (parts per billion).

The district said, “Since 2016 we have been testing, mitigating and reporting on water quality in accordance with the ministry of education guidelines.”

It added that many of the mitigation efforts have already been implemented with help from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

“In 2016 the Ministry of Education mandated lead testing in schools built before 1990. With guidance from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, the Powell River School District completed this testing in 2016 and with the support of a Ministry of Education grant, has since been able to implement a number of mitigation strategies at affected schools.”

Some of those strategies included replacing faucets and fountains, running new water lines to fountains and kitchens and installing NSA lead filtration systems.

The district said that it continues to do what it can to make sure its drinking water is free of lead and other toxins.

“Since 2017, water samples continue to be collected on a rotating 3‐year basis, with test results conducted and reported by an independent contractor. The school district shares these results with the Ministry of Education and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.”

SD47 finished its statement by saying the well being of students is very important.

“The Powell River School Board takes the health and welfare of its students and staff very seriously, and will continue to test water quality consistent with the Ministry of Education policies and guidelines, as well will continue to explore ways to improve its infrastructure.”