Lead tests come back clean


    A water fountain on the ground floor of Edmund Casey Hall sits dismantled shortly after lead was detected in it. The university is waiting for the delivery of an advanced fountain to replace this one and others. (Karissa Donkin/AQ)

    Lead tests are wrapping up on the St. Thomas University campus and the university is now waiting for results from water samples taken at Rigby Hall.

    The university tested 24 locations two weeks ago after the detection of lead shut down eight water fountains on campus.

    The locations include washrooms in Holy Cross House, Harrington Hall and Vanier Hall, as well as sinks in some residence rooms.

    Similar to the results the university received back from Chatham Hall, the 24 locations sampled well below the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, STU spokesman Jeffrey Carleton said.

    When asked whether the university has narrowed down the problem to the school’s pipes or to water fountains, Carleton said the university has a clear idea of where the problem is “because of our extensive testing.” He didn’t elaborate.

    The university will soon take samples from six university-owned houses on Windsor Street.

    Water fountains in Vanier Hall, Holy Cross House and Edmund Casey Hall that were found to have high levels of lead remain disconnected.

    Carleton said the university is waiting for the delivery advanced fountains with filters to remove particulates like lead, which will replace the affected fountains.

    Last week, scientist Inka Milewski said it’s unlikely students will be affected by the amount of lead in STU’s water, but that no exposure is the ideal situation.

    Lead exposure, over time, can cause hypertension, kidney problems and memory loss, Milewski said.

    STU’s lead tests were triggered by the detection of lead in the University of New Brunswick’s water pipes.

    Since then, UNB has sampled water at more than 500 locations on campus, with 101 locations exceeding the acceptable level of lead.


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