Smart Water Flow Monitoring System Can Help Keep Lead Levels Safe at Schools
A recent CBC article reported that 32 schools in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board in Ontario failed the provincial water lead test.
In London, Ontario, hundreds of schools and daycares in the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) also failed lead tests in the past two years.
As in previous years, it is expected that unsafe levels of lead will be found in more schools as regulators continue to test in each school district. The schools affected are not only in big cities but also suburban and rural communities. These stories are not limited to Canadian schools; there are just as many reports about school districts in the US and other countries that highlight the importance of regular flushing processes for children’s health, as well as the challenges of flushing and how failed tests can affect entire communities.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control states that lead in water is especially dangerous for children due to "increased gastrointestinal absorption, hand-to-mouth behaviours, consumption of dust, and less effective renal excretion compared to adults." As a result, regulations for lead content in water are set to strict standards.
One technique to keep lead at safe levels is to have schools run their water to flush their plumbing regularly, which is required by law. But, tracking when and how frequently pipes are flushed poses a challenge as most schools do not have systems to monitor water flow in real-time. If lead flushing doesn’t happen on a regular schedule, the lead that has leached into the water supply remains in the standing water in the pipes. And, when children drink the water they are exposed to higher levels of lead. Monitoring lead flushing is key to keeping water clean and safe at schools; as the saying goes, "you can't manage what you can't measure."
Track lead flushing and water usage at buildings across school districts
Fortunately, there are non-intrusive smart water flow sensors that can be installed in seconds by anyone - from custodial staff to teaching faculty. The Alert Labs Flowie smart water flow sensor straps onto indoor water meters in seconds to monitor water flow in real-time. Analytics and a record of all water usage events are available through an easy-to-use Dashboard or Mobile App.
By monitoring water flow minute-by-minute with Flowie, school facility managers and administrators can ensure that essential lead flushing is being performed at all schools in the district. The length of time that these flushing events are carried out can also be quantified. Real-time water usage data helps avoid lead flushing that is either too short and therefore ineffective or, too long and the cause of high water bills.
Flowie also sends alerts for leaks, floods, unusual water usage, pipe freezing, power outages and humidity levels to help protect school buildings from water damage and high water bills.
Lead levels in drinking water at schools can be properly managed with the right technology; reducing the risk that lead poses to the health of children is easier and more effective with Flowie.
Visit alertlabs.ca/schools to learn how you can track minute-by-minute water usage, including lead flushing processes, at a fraction of the cost by installing the Alert Labs Flowie smart water flow sensor.
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