One of the many water fountains at schools that could be distributing drinking water with high levels of lead
See Canadian Facility Management & Design, September 2018 for full article.
Schools continue to fail lead tests resulting in high levels of lead in school drinking water. In 2018 alone, high levels of lead in school drinking water were reported at 120 schools in B.C., 57 in Detroit, 32 in Hamilton-Wentworth with many other daycares and education centres failing lead tests across North America.
High levels of lead in drinking water can expose children to serious health complications. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention points out "no safe blood level has been identified for young children," and efforts should be made to completely eliminate lead from their drinking water.
One strategy to reduce levels of lead in school drinking water is to regularly flush plumbing systems. Typically this is achieved by running the water at a faucet nearest the water main line in the school facility for about 15 minutes. The length of time necessary to run the water and the frequency vary depending on how long the water has been sitting in the pipes and the age of the plumbing infrastructure.
While flushing the plumbing does clear out water contaminated with lead, the problem is that it must be done manually and is subject to human error. Ensuring that lead flushing is being carried out for the right amount of time and at regular interval relies on expensive equipment or must also be done with pen and paper, for example.
This state of affairs is now changing. The Flowie water flow sensor is being used by schools across North America to track all water use events including lead flushing to help lower lead in school drinking water. Unlike traditional in-line solutions that require a plumber to install, Flowie straps onto existing water meters in seconds. Flowie monitors water use minute-by-minute and all the data is available online.
Flowie also helps lower water bills 18 to 23% because problems such as running toilets and leaking urinals are identified well before school facility managers would receive a high water bill.
Smart water flow sensors like Flowie give school facility managers new tools to combat the problem of high levels of lead in water at schools. Benchmarking schools within districts on metrics such as duration of lead flushing and overall water use has never been easier. Now is the time to end high levels of lead in water at schools.
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