City is testing lead water lines

  • Aug. 23, 2010 10:34 p.m.

The City is on the lookout for homes built before the early 1960s that may have lead water service lines.

City Council heard Monday about details of homeowners being contacted by letter within the next week if their homes allowed for the use of lead piping for water services.

Pre-1960 building codes allowed for the use of lead piping and there are about 3,500 homes in Red Deer where the service piping material is unknown.

“It could be copper, it could be lead, plastic or iron, so the first step is let’s just find out how many lead services we have,” said Tom Warder, environmental services manager.

The next step would be a testing of the home’s water to see if there is an issue of lead concentration, he said. “If there was a problem, then we would work with the resident.”

He said ultimately, the City would want to remove the lead surfaces altogether.

Currently, Environmental Services replaces the City’s portion of lead service lines whenever they are found during routine construction projects in neighbourhoods.

Homeowners often choose to replace their portion of services lines at the same time, he said.

“Now we are taking a more proactive approach in trying to find the piping,” he said.

It’s normally more efficient when the City and the homeowner replace both of their portions of the water service system at the same time, and some systems can be ‘pulled through’ rather than excavated.

Warder said it’s expected that the lead service identification program will speed up the demand for lead service replacement work. From there, it could take a number of years to catch up with all the replacement demands that could surface, he said.

“Depending on how many we find, it may take us a number of years.”

There are strategies to limit the exposure to lead in drinking water, including the use of filtration devices or flushing out standing water in pipes after periods when they haven’t been used for some time.

The City expects that several hundred of the homes to be tested will have a lead water service.

Health Canada guidelines require that 60 initial and 30 ongoing sample locations for lead testing are to be taken during the summer months only. That’s because warmer weather causes increased potential for lead leaching in warmer water.

Currently, the City uses a caustic soda treatment to balance the pH of the finished water and minimize water corrosion. This practice creates a protective film which coats the inside of the pipes and minimizes lead seepage.

“The City of Red Deer’s water is safe and is continually tested to ensure it meets all provincial water quality standards,” said Randy Reaman, Water Superintendent with the City of Red Deer. “This study will help us gather information to use as a baseline to develop future testing protocols to maintain our high drinking water standards.”

Red Deer’s drinking water comes from the Water Treatment Plant and is virtually lead-free, and officials say the lead level content in Red Deer’s drinking water distribution system is well within the Health Canada guidelines for corrosion control in water distribution systems (2009).

The study is expected to be completed in late October, and the City will continue to work with homeowners as results come in.

Just Posted

Red Deerians can weigh in on proposed Bighorn Country investment tonight

Telephone town hall takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Vibrant colours highlight newest exhibit at The Hub

‘Chaos to Calm’ by Cathy Fee runs through to the end of March

Neonatal nurse practitioner joins NICU care team

Babies requiring specialized care at Red Deer Hospital have extra set of hands caring for them

The old Greyhound Bus Depot is being demolished

The Red Deer building has been around for decades

Official torchbearers for 2019 Canada Winter Games announced

Canada Games officials open time capsule from Grande Prairie Games in 1995

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Huawei founder thanks inmates, Canadian justice system for treating daughter well

Ren Zhengfei said he believes there will be a just conclusion to the case of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou

May government faces no-confidence vote after Brexit defeat

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would stay put in her leadership role

Defending champions Team Scheidegger will fight to keep title

Stettler hosting 2019 Alberta Scotties provincial women’s bonspiel

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Edmonton Police charged 236 people with auto theft in 2018

Police states many of the thefts are crimes of opportunity

Woman’s complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, has been charged with one count of sexual assault

Most Read