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Vancouver Coastal Health says testing of the drinking water at a school in Powell River, B.C., has found levels of arsenic above the maximum acceptable concentration for consumption.

The health authority says routine testing of the water supply at Kelly Creek Community School had demonstrated safe levels until now.

Because the arsenic was found early, it says medical health officers have assessed the risk to students and staff as very low.

Arsenic is a natural element found in rocks, and has been commonly found in groundwater in Powell River and on the Sunshine Coast, which is why the authority says regular testing of well water is necessary.

Vancouver Coastal is reminding those who own or operate private water systems to conduct regular maintenance and testing.

Staff and students at the school will be provided bottled water when they return from spring break on Monday while maintenance of the water treatment system is completed.

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