School board hires well driller for Primrose school

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Upper Grand District School Board has secured the well drilling company and is committing to regular communication with the community after parents began actively campaigning for action to be taken to resolve water issues at Primrose Elementary School in Mulmur.

Throughout the month of October, Upper Grand District School Board conducted hydrogeological studies on the property to determine the specifications for a sustainable well at the school.

“We have recently hired a well drilling company and we are working with them on a timeline for drilling. We have been assured that drilling can proceed in the winter months. To ensure regular uninterrupted waterflow to the school, the water tanker and connections have been winterized. We have monitoring devices in the tankers to track usage and temperature,” said Belal Taha, Superintendent of Education.

“At our Oct. 26 parent information evening at Primrose, we heard the need for regular communication. As such, we have been sending weekly updates to the Primrose ES community.”

At the beginning of the school year low water pressure caused the school’s toilets to become inoperable and the school was closed for one day before re-opening with students using portable toilets. The well failed completely on Sept. 12 and remediation was determined impossible. A water tanker was brought in and has been the school’s water supply ever since.

Parents made their concerns public at a Sept. 17 all-candidates debate in Mulmur, due to their frustration with a lack of communication from the school board.

Parents are calling for a capacity review at the school.

“There have been significant delays in important processes for Primrose. The school was due for a capacity review in 2019, this still hasn’t happened and the school is currently at 157 per cent capacity; the sodium concentration in the drinking water has been at least twice as high as the Canadian Drinking Water Quality guidelines since 2017 and no long term action has been taken despite sustained efforts to raise attention by parents,” said Carli Lang. “Our parent group is pretty committed to making sure that the promised actions occur in a timely fashion and [we] are going to keep the attention on the capacity, well and water quality issues.”

School council members have formed a water committee and continue to advocate for improvements.

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