• Independent schools are responsible for ensuring the quality of water within their systems and plumbing.
  • Gaglardi Academy, in collaboration with the established protocols from VIHA, Environmental Health Officer, must ensure the maximum acceptable Lead concentration in drinking water sources are met.
  • Student health and safety is a priority shared by all stakeholders at Gaglardi Academy (i.e. Board, faculty, students, and parents).

Designated Drinking Water Sources

    • Water Fountains in the elementary wing.
    • Kitchen.
    • All classroom taps.
    • All washroom taps – Junior and Senior – where children are likely to fill water bottles for drinking.

Current Requirements for Lead Minimums

  • All designated drinking water sources are tested every three years.
  • The maximum acceptable concentration for lead in drinking water at the tap is currently at 0.010 mg/L. 
  • All designated drinking water sources MUST meet the established lead maximum on “first draw”.
  • As of October 25, 2021, and with the approval of Canada Health, the new standard for lead content is .005 mg/L.

Risk Assessment/history

  • 1475 Noel Avenue facilities were built in two stages in 1963 and 1987 by School District 71.  No history is available for water testing.   PJGA purchased the facilities in 2013 and replaced 50% of the lead traps during the renovation phase before occupancy in March of 2014.
  • Water testing commenced February of 2017. 
  • Water testing concluded on December 11, 2017 with all taps reporting less than the established maximum of 0.010 mg/L of Lead concentration. 
  • Current Risk Assessment is low.
  • Next water sampling is scheduled for Spring of 2020.
  • Water testing completed October 5, 2021 showing concentrations less than .005 mg/L.

Water Testing Protocol

  • Take all samples first thing in the morning.
  • A primary "first draw" sample is taken using approved containers from Maxxam Laboratories.  Note:  Water must be standing for a minimum of 6 hours.
  • When Lab results from primary sampling is complete, and lead levels are outside the maximum acceptable concentration either employ one of the mitigation strategies or draw additional samples after a 30-second flush to narrow the scope of testing.
  • When Lab results from 30-second flush sampling is complete, and lead levels continue to be outside the maximum acceptable concentration either employ one of the mitigation strategies or draw additional samples after the water runs cold.

Results from Water Testing

  • PJGA will hold all Lead sampling history.
    • 32 “first draw” samples were drawn on March 10, 2017.  Sixteen samples returned with elevated lead levels.
    • 16 "30-second flush" samples were drawn on April 28, 2017, with 100% returned below 0.010 mg/L.
    • The remaining 50% of the Lead traps were replaced, and a "first draw" retest was done on October 13, 2017.  All but the water fountains passed the required maximum.
    • Installed new water fountain hardware, and water pipes.
    • A new filtration system installed in November 2017.
    • Remaining water fountains tested for "first draw" on December 11, and all samples returned well below required maximum.
    • No further mitigation strategies required.

Mitigation Strategies

  • Possible mitigation strategies include:
    • Flushing program implemented with sampling in late-day to ensure the program remains useful throughout the facility.
    • Filter installations.
    • plumbing upgrades (equipment, soldering etc.)
    • Deactivate water sources with appropriate signage.

Communication Plan

  • Should drinking water be identified through sampling as unfit for consumption, the following protocol is followed (including boil water advisories).
    • All staff announcements – verbal and email.
    • Water sources identified with signage "Not for Drinking."
    • Drinking fountains covered.
    • Email home to parents identifying the problem and suggesting children come to school with filled water bottles from home.
  • When the school is testing for water safety, the following protocol to inform the school community will be employed.
    • Email communication to all stakeholders stating:
      • The rationale for testing Lead in drinking water.
      • Outline the results of water sampling.
      • Report on the mitigation strategies implemented.
      • Provide links for further information.
      • Provide contact information to VIHA.


  • Report all sampling and test results to Stacey Sowa.
  • Report annually to the Ministry of Education by March 30th using the Report for Testing Lead Content in Drinking Water of School Facilities.

VIHA Contact Information
Stacey Sowa, CPHI©, Environmental Health Officer
Island Health
email:  stacey.sowa@viha.ca

Drinking Water Testing Policy, updated October 25, 2021 - new lead maximum to .005 mg/L
Updated January 11, 2022.