Safe Drinking Water

Ontario Regulation 243/07 Schools, Private School and Day Nurseries mandates provincial school boards to complete an annual process that samples drinking water for lead. To complete this process, school boards must take both a standing sample and flushed sample of drinking water.

Standing sample: the water in the building had not flowed for six hours or more.

Flushed sample: the faucet is flushed for at least 5 minutes, turned off and left unused for 30 minutes. At the end of the 30 minutes, a second one-litre sample is taken. Results are a representation of the lead content in the drinking water after the required water flushing is conducted at the school.

As of July 1, 2017, the regulation was amended to require additional testing of drinking water sources in schools. Water tests are conducted by a third party vendor and take place on a cycled schedule as stipulated by the regulation.

The acceptable limit for lead in drinking water has always been 10 parts per billion (ppb). Upon testing, exceedances of lead levels in drinking water are resolved immediately in accordance with the legislation employing the following corrective actions:

For standing water samples greater than 10 ppb
  • Daily flushing is implemented
For flushed water samples greater than 10 ppb
  • York Region Public Health provides direction on corrective action
  • The source becomes inaccessible until resolution
  • Users are notified not to drink from the source
  • Daily flushing implemented
  • Resampling (two sets) a minimum of 7 days apart

Where corrective actions are ineffective, increased flushing or replacement of the fixture may be necessary until samples show acceptable levels.

York Catholic students, staff and families can rest assured that the Board continues to follow all requirements related to water safety in our buildings and immediately takes corrective action where it is necessary. The safety and well-being of our York Catholic community is of utmost importance which includes ensuring the provision of quality drinking water in schools and workplaces.