Drinking water in Niagara, distributed by your municipality, is extremely low in lead. However, lead can enter your drinking water from lead service lines, lead plumbing, solder or plumbing devices containing lead.
Older homes (constructed before 1955) may have some lead plumbing and may be served by lead water service lines. Homes constructed prior to the mid to late 1980's may have their plumbing connected with lead base solder.
Dissolved lead can be released into drinking water when left sitting for a prolonged period and particulate lead can enter drinking water through normal flow conditions.
Drinking water's contribution to total lead exposure is very low and occurs over a long-term period. Pregnant women and children under the age of six are most at risk to the health effects from long-term exposure to lead. Older children and adults do not readily absorb lead. Parents are advised to discuss specific health concerns with their physician.
In Ontario, the Safe Drinking Water Act has established a maximum acceptable concentration for lead in drinking water of 10 ppb (parts per billion). This drinking water guideline has been developed to protect the population most at risk, namely pregnant women and children under six years of age.
To have your municipal drinking water sampled and tested for lead, contact your local municipal office for details.
Pregnant women and children under six years of age, with high levels of lead in their drinking water, should do the following:
Niagara Region Public Health
Environmental Health Division
905-688-8248 ext. 7590 or 1-888-505-6074