Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Mayor Lee Brain's notes put some distance between City of Prince Rupert and SD52's latest water woes

With School District 52 moving to a bottled water delivery process for its schools and offices this week, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain was quick to make sure that residents were aware that the water issues at the School District were not related to the city's water infrastructure.

Taking to his Facebook page on Wednesday morning, the Mayor highlighted a few themes for the community to take note of.

With Mr. Brain putting out a statement clarifying that the issue had nothing to do with the city's infrastructure and that the water delivered to homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and other facilities is considered safe by the City.

Among some of Mr. Brain's main themes were:

Prince Rupert delivers water that is well within the new Canada Health guidelines for both lead and copper. Additionally, it’s important to understand that the city has minimal amounts of copper within our supply and distribution system

Prince Rupert has low pH water because it comes from a lake, which means that the water can ‘leach’ materials contained in your piping infrastructure - including things like copper, lead, etc. 

The City received a grant in August to construct a water treatment facility which will solve the community’s water issues in a variety of ways - most notably it will balance the pH of the water which will end the leaching issue for everyone. 

That being said, this will not solve the fact that many homes could have lead and copper in their water system, and it is highly recommended that any building owner make the investment to replace their piping infrastructure regardless.

The Mayor also repeated the city's past message when it comes to the city's water supply, advising that residents run the water until it is cold,  the mayor advising how that will eliminate the stagnant water in the lines.

Mr. Brain also includes a number of past information pieces from the city as part of his presentation.

The update was a Facebook only advisory, with no similar item posted to the city's website.

The latest notes from the School District are perhaps making for a sense of deja vu for the City's Mayor and Council members, with the memories of the long lasting Boil Water Order over the 2018 Christmas and New Years period still making for some current for discussion in the community.

More recently the City was the subject of a number of national stories in November of 2019, the focus of many of the articles related to the city's ongoing issues with lead in the water.

That as a consortium of news organizations and journalism students delivered a vast array of items for review.

You can review that archive here.

The ongoing work on the water issues for the School District should give the Council membership some sympathy for the road ahead for SD52 Superintendent Irene LaPierre.

She will be tasked with keeping parents, guardians, students and staff, as well as an interest public up to date on the latest news on the topic from the School District.

As for the School District's latest steps, you can learn more about their approach to the issue of lead and copper levels at the SD52 facilities from our archive page.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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