**** EDUCATION/EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT Media Release
Province to Provide Schools With Drinking Water
Government will provide drinking water to 324 public schools in January, until lead testing in all schools can be completed.
These include 284 schools not yet tested for lead and 40 schools that have been tested and require drinking water.
“We don’t want families to worry about the quality of drinking water in their schools,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “Until we can resume testing in the spring, we will provide drinking water to schools that need it.”
Health Canada recently lowered the acceptable level of lead in drinking water and introduced new testing guidelines. The guidelines indicate the testing can only be done in warmer weather. Testing began in Nova Scotia schools in fall 2019 and will resume in spring 2020, with the goal of having all schools tested by the end of the current school year.
— to date, 86 out of 370 public schools have been tested for lead
— the cost to provide water to 324 schools until the end of the current school year is $1.7 million
— the remaining 46 schools across the province do not require outside drinking water
— the province is creating a public database that will house all water test results from all schools in the province. The database will be in place by September.
Heath Canada news release: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2019/03/health-canada-sets-new-guideline-for-lead-in-drinking-water-latest-in-series-of-government-actions-to-protect-canadians-from-exposure-to-lead.html