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What is the City Lead Management Program all about?
The City of Wetaskiwin—and all municipalities across Canada—have been mandated by Health Canada to conform to stricter lead limits in municipal drinking water.
The City of Wetaskiwin cares about the health and well-being of our citizens and as a result, the City will complete an initial water sampling program across the City before the end of September 2021. Water samples can only be taken from May to September, so it is the City's goal to perform some of the required tests in 2020 by the end of September, and the rest between May to September 2021.
Why is this water sampling necessary?
Prior to March 2019, acceptable maximum lead levels in municipal drinking water were set at 10 PPB, and compliance had to be met at the distribution point. After March 2019, Health Canada lowered the maximum acceptable lead levels in municipal drinking water by half to 5 PPB, and compliance must now be met at the customer's tap. *where PPB=Parts Per Billion, or micrograms/litre*.
How long is the water sampling going to take?
The technician will take a quick water sample and will request permission to inspect the water service lines around your water meter to determine if you have a lead service water line. This should only take between 15-20 minutes.
How will I know if I have higher than the max acceptable limit in my water?
The City will contact you to share your water test result as soon as possible after receiving the results back from the third-party testing lab.
What if my lead levels are high?
There are a number of recommended actions that you can take to minimize your family’s intake of lead from your drinking water. These can include installing and maintaining a water filtration device, running your water if it has not been used in awhile, and not using hot water from the tap for drinking or cooking.
The City of Wetaskiwin has a Lead Service Replacement Policy which outlines the process in which the City of Wetaskiwin will replace your lead water service lines and provide funding options to assist homeowners with the costs associated with replacing the private water service lines in their home. The policy can be found at https://www.wetaskiwin.ca/DocumentCenter/View/3936/CO-034-Lead-Water-Pipe-Replacement-2017-08-21?bidId=.
How do I know if my home has a lead service water line?
There is a simple test that can be performed by you called a Scratch Test. As long as you know where your water meter is in your home (usually in the basement) and you have a coin—like a quarter or a loonie—then you can easily perform the test yourself. There is an instructional video that can be found at haveyoursay.wetaskiwin.ca/lead-service-line.
I’m concerned about COVID-19 because there are people in my household/family/myself that are immune-compromised. What precautions will be taken so that the technician who does the sampling is not spreading the virus to my home?
The technician will put on a new disposable face mask and gloves prior to entering your home. The technician can also wear a full hazmat suit, if desired by the homeowner. These PPE items will be changed after each home visit and proper hand-sanitizing practices will be adhered to.