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31 January 2018

Update on new water testing regime in public schools

The Department of Education’s Director General Sharyn O’Neill said results that have been received from water testing at six new public schools found no adverse samples in any drinking outlets.

“Initial tests conducted by the Department of Finance’s Building Management and Works found some taps in work areas, such as external hose taps and work sinks, showed slightly elevated levels of lead. Subsequent testing, however, showed no elevated levels in water from these taps,” Ms O’Neill said.

“Any taps with inconsistent results will be off-limits to students and staff while further testing is undertaken.”

The Department is expecting test results from the remaining five new schools in coming days.

“While I am awaiting the results from the remaining five schools, I have been reassured by health officials that short term consumption of the drinking water poses no health risks.

“However as a precautionary measure, bottled water will be provided to those schools for drinking and hand washing until results are received and the appropriate response is developed.

“Senior Education and Health Department officers will work together on all preliminary test results that have been provided by the Department of Finance’s Building Management and Works (BMW), which is standard practice.

This is the first time all newly constructed public schools have been tested for lead in taps.

In addition to this, all public schools, including newly constructed schools, were required to carry out an extensive flushing regime of water pipes prior to students returning to school today.

“I must stress these measures are above and beyond what is required, but we believe they are an important precaution,” Ms O’Neill said.

Schools tested:

Fremantle College – testing complete, no elevated lead levels.

Aspiri Primary School – 1 tap in gardener’s store showing inconsistent results.

Yanchep Secondary College – 1 work sink showing inconsistent results.

Oakwood Primary School – 1 external hose tap showing inconsistent results.

Wellard Primary School – 3 activity sinks showing inconsistent results.

Honeywood Primary School – 4 activity sinks showing inconsistent results.

Rapids Landing Primary School – awaiting results.

Aveley North Primary School – awaiting results.

Aveley Secondary College – awaiting results.

Doubleview Primary School – awaiting results.

Southern Grove Primary School – awaiting results.

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