UNB to replace 50 water fountains
Officials at The University of New Brunswick raised concerns about lead in water dispensed by drinking water fountains on campus. As a result, the university will replace about 50 water fountains. The university tested 550 taps and drinking water fountains on campus. Among those, about 90 fixtures had lead levels above the federal guideline for drinking water when the water samples were so-called ‘first-grab tests’ — water that is collected just as it starts to flow.
Water samples taken during standard water tests, after a five-minute flush, showed only two fixtures exceeded the lead guidelines. Barb Nicholson, the associate vice-president of Capital Planning and Property Development at the university, said the university is going further than required and replacing 50 of the fountains that failed the first-grab tests. “We wanted to be able to say that water coming out of our water fountains is high quality water. So that’s why we’re above and beyond the Health Canada guidelines,” Nicholson said. “We’re replacing our water fountains on campus with filtration units so that as soon as that water comes out of the water fountain, it is high quality water.”
Dr. Cristin Muecke, the district medical officer of health, told students the drinking water guidelines are based on lifetime exposure to lead from a water source. “These are guidelines that need to be followed by facilities to ensure that people can drink eight glasses of water a day for 70 years and not have to worry about potential health effects.”
The university has already replaced 14 of its fountains. Safety for our customers is of paramount importance to us at Drinking Water Fountains, and we are pleased that the university has taken such positive steps to ensure people have access to drinking water fountains of top quality that are safe to use.