Province investigates water at new Sask. Hospital, launches audit of entire building
An investigation is being launched into the water at Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford.
According to the province, recent testing indicates high copper and lead levels in the water.
“We have not been able to iron out what the source of the copper is. That’s part of the investigation that’s ongoing,” Mike Carr, deputy minister of Saskatchewan’s Central Services, told reporters on Friday morning.
The ministry said it believes the issue has to do with Sask. Hospital, as the City of North Battleford’s water has tested clean.
Water discolouration was first flagged by contractors who were part of building the hospital.
“Graham Construction notified us about a quality issue that had been brought to their attention from SNC-Lavalin,” Carr said.
Signs advising patients and staff not to drink the tap water have been posted around the facility.
The province said there is no immediate health risk and no patients will be displaced because of the issue.
Province launches independent audit of Sask. Hospital
NDP leader and former doctor Ryan Meili called the water warning “inexcusable” – as the facility just opened in March.
“It's absolutely astounding to think of a hospital where patients can't drink the water, where it's not clean and safe," Meili said.
The water woes aren’t the first issue with the new facility. In May, the province announced the entire roof would have to be repaired because of water leakage issues.
“Either we have hospitals that are old and falling apart, or they’re building new ones and doing a bad job,” Meili said.
The Ministry of Central Services said it’s in the process of hiring an independent company to conduct an audit of the building.
Carr said the audit will take weeks. In the meantime, bottled water has been brought to Sask. Hospital during the water advisory.