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Lead contamination discovered in drinking water at 12 Wing Shearwater building

CAF generic Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 10.01.28 AM
CAF generic Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 10.01.28 AM

Drinking water at a building at 12 Wing Shearwater has higher than normal levels of lead, prompting a warning to military personnel who are living at the accommodation block.

Sources told Defence Watch that tests showed the water at the Warrior Block had tested positive for lead exceeding Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines. The sources alleged the military leadership and public affairs officers knew of the contamination but did not immediately tell those living in the building in Halifax. There are about 100 people living in the accommodation block at the east coast facility and around another 50 who work in other portions of the building.

The Department of National Defence confirmed Wednesday that water samples had tested positive for lead exceeding the guidelines. The Canadian Forces found out about the contamination on Monday and informed those living and working in the building the next day, the DND stated.

“The Base Surgeon has assessed the results and has identified this is not an immediate threat to human health, and that the water may still be used for preparing food, washing and showering,” the DND email to Defence Watch noted. “However, as a precautionary measure, a drinking water warning was issued and bottled water is being provided to building occupants.”

“These measures will remain in effect until a long-term solution is in place and additional testing confirms the water meets Health Canada’s guidelines,” the email added. “Long-term solutions could potentially include replacing water infrastructure or using filters at the tap.”

More tests are being done to determine the source and extent of the problem, the DND stated.


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