Posted 11-05-2019: The recent concerns about unhealthy levels of lead in some Canadian municipalities’ drinking water will have minimal impact for Okotoks’ residents.
The majority of Okotoks’ water network construction occurred after regulations were established that prohibited the use of lead in piping. The Town of Okotoks is continuously investing in renewal of aging water infrastructure to provide reliable and safe water services to their customers. Less than one percent of utility customers are on water mains that were installed prior to 1975.
Random water testing of customer tap water has been done as part of Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) regulatory requirements on an annual basis and these tests indicated there are only trace amounts of lead in Okotoks’ water that are far below Health Canada’s Maximum Allowable Concentration.
The use of lead for water service lines was permitted by the National Plumbing Code of Canada until 1975, while lead solder was permitted until 1986. Solder containing lead for drinking water supplies was prohibited under this code after 1990.
The Town will be reviewing the guidance documents from Managing Lead in Municipal Drinking Water System produced by Alberta Environment and Parks, to establish a Town-wide Lead Management Plan that addresses the risk of consumption of lead in drinking water at the customer’s tap.
The Okotoks Health and Wellness Centre also provides free testing. Residents can pick up a sample bottle and instructions for gathering a sample of their drinking water, which can be dropped off the same day. Results are usually provided within one to two weeks. For more information call 403.995.2600.
The bulk of the lead issue lies on or within private property, outside of the road allowance and municipal authority and it is the property owner’s responsibility to replace these service lines and fixtures.
For more information contact Okotoks water at 403.995.6306.