CUT: Notices are posted on the walls near water stations (sinks and fountains) in Maitland District Elementary School to warn of contamination to the water. Higher than normal levels of arsenic were found in the well water n November 2011. Raissa Tetanish – Truro Daily News
The order at Maitland District Elementary School was put in place in November 2011 and notices near water stations remind visitors not to consume the water.
“It was for a high level of arsenic,” said Debbie Buott-Matheson, spokeswoman for the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. “Once something is found in our water systems, the water is then tested quarterly and results are analyzed with the Department of Environment and the medical officer of health.”
She said the notice issued isn’t uncommon in schools, however, the exact cause of the arsenic levels at Maitland District still hasn’t been determined.
As a result, Buott-Matheson said it’s hard to rectify the situation.
“The fountains have been sealed and shut off, and the students are provided with safe drinking water, as well as water to wash fruits or vegetables when needed,” she said. “We’ve been working really closely with the Department of Environment and testing the well water.”
Cathrine Yuill, a mother with children at the school, is worried the situation could be used as a reason to shut down the school, which is one of five within the school board undergoing a review process.
“Of course I am concerned about the water quality at my child's school. But I am far more concerned about losing my community school altogether when simple solutions are available for the water issue,” Yuill told the Truro Daily News in an email.
“I would hate to see the school board or the public exploit this issue and use it as a reason to dismiss our innovative proposal to develop the school into a viable community hub and keep our young children in our community.”