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Officials investigating copper, lead levels in water at new Sask. hospital

The province says there is no immediate health risk, but potable water is available for drinking and cooking at the North Battleford facility.
The province says there is no immediate health risk, but potable water is available for drinking and cooking at the North Battleford facility. File / Global News

Provincial officials are investigating potentially high levels of copper or lead at the new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford.

Water testing is underway, with recent samples showing signs of “irregularities and inconsistency that indicate levels of copper or lead may be higher than desirable levels,” according to a statement from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Central Services.

READ MORE: Roof at new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford leaks, needs replacing

“There is no immediate health risk, and no health advisory has been issued,” the statement reads.

However, as a precaution, people are being asked not to consume water from the facility’s taps, fountains and sinks. Potable water has been made available for drinking and cooking.

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“It is presumed that the issue is originating inside the facility, as water tests sourced from the City of North Battleford have been confirmed to be clean,” read a statement issued on Friday from Deputy Minister of Central Services Mike Carr.

“A full investigation and further water testing is occurring at the site to identify the issue and take immediate steps to remediate it. This is a priority and every effort is being made to minimize the amount of time this situation impacts patients and staff.”

READ MORE: Former Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford remains unsold

The 284-bed facility opened in March 2019 at a cost of $407 million.

In May, the province revealed the hospital’s roof was leaking and in need of replacement. The government said a product failure happened with modular roofing panels.