WA Schools Face Risk of Lead in Drinking Water

Schools in West Australia are at a high risk of having Lead in Drinking Water. Recent studies by the States Chemical Testing Centre suggest that all drinking water should be tested and flushed thoroughly after holiday periods.

Peter McCafferty, the chief executive officer of ChemCentre provided evidence of Lead in Drinking Water in schools to the Public Accounts Committee's investigation on the Perth Children's Hospital.

The investigation examined wide spread problems that delayed the completion of the $1.2 billion Children's hospital by more two years which included contamination of lead in drinking water, asbestos roof panels and damaged fire door jambs.

Sick children based in Perth's have been waiting for more than two years to get access to the new Children's Hospital with no confirmed date in sight.

ChemCentre suggested that they believed that the most likely source of lead contamination was sourced from brass fittings that were installed through the building which was leaching into drinking water plumbing. A temporary solution to the problem was to flush all plumbing with phosphate which would reduce the lead levels in drinking supplies.

It is possible that lead in pipes will stop leaching though it is impossible to know how long that would take.

ChemCentre has strongly apposed the use of brass fittings with lead which can contain 4-5% of lead which is used to make them the fittings easier to manipulate.

Mr McCafferty mentioned in the investigation that "Leaded brass is, I think, fraught with danger"  and that brass which contains lead was also widely used schools which is a great  problem. "I think schools are potential risks,". He went on to explain that over the holidays there are longer periods of water being stagnant in pipes.

Mr McCafferty will be recommending that schools should be tested each year for Lead in Drinking Water before students return to class and that pipes be flushed as a precaution.

Lead in Drinking Water Test Kits

If you suspect that your water is contaminated with lead, try the Lead Water Test Kits. Widely used by Australian's to ensure that their drinking water is safe from harmful contaminants.