02/17/2016 06:53 EST | Updated 02/17/2016 06:59 EST

Prince Rupert, B.C. Schools Found To Have Lead In Tap Water

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A kitchen faucet with water running out of it.

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. — Elevated levels of lead have been found in tap water at four schools in Prince Rupert, B.C.

School district officials in the northwest coast city have alerted parents after tests of drinking water showed lead concentrations above Health Canada guidelines.

Exact levels haven't been released, but the district has traced the source to lead pipes at Conrad Elementary, Pineridge Elementary, Ecole Roosevelt Park Community School and Prince Rupert Middle School.

The district is installing water fountains with special filters and says the pipes will be flushed daily before school because lead levels climb when water stands in the pipes overnight.

Lead can affect growth and development in children, but the district notes students don't regularly drink a lot of water at school so significant harm is unlikely.

Several schools in Kitimat reported a similar problem in 2012, and New Democrat Jennifer Rice says lead levels should be checked at all older schools in the northwest, central coast and Haida Gwaii. (CFTK)

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