Tens of thousands of homes in cities across Canada still have lead water pipes. The heavy metal can leach out potentially causing health problems expecially in young children with developing brains, and in adults creating kidney problems (Thomas Gerbet Radio-Canada)

Canada: action to end lead (metal) contamination in water pipes

Share

The federal agency Health Canada in March of this year revised its rating for safe level of  content in drinking water from 10 microgrammes per litre, to 5 microgrammes per litre. The province of Quebec announced today it will follow suit.

An investigation this month by two news outlets in collaboration with Montreal’s Concordia University found that provincial lead contamination was using a sampling method that was underestimating lead levels in the water supply.  The group tested five cities across the province and found that there were 466 tests showing a higher than the previous 10microg/l acceptable level.

Lead exposure can lead neurological development in the foetus and in young children whose behaviour may also be affected. It can also lead to increased blood pressure or kidney problems in adults.

Lead was a common material from which pipes were made up until the 1950’s in many places, and in some Quebec construction even into the 70’s. Literally tens of thousands of homes in cities across Canada are likely to have lead water pipes.

Montreal, one of Canada’s oldest cities, had been working on a 20 year plan to replace the city’s lead pipes starting in 2007.  When doing street repairs if a lead  city conduit was found, it was replaced. The city has also been advising residents to change their water entries from the city pipe into their homes. This was a costly venture and many homeowners and landlords have not been doing so in spite of potential health risks.

Montreal has announced that it won’t wait for homeowners but change residential pipes from the street to the house at the same time it is changing old city pipes, but charge the homeowner for the work. In Halifax the city has a compensation plan. Other cities have their own individual plans (Thomas Gerbet Radio Canada)

Now Montreal has announced that in order to speed up the process, when it replaces a city conduit, if the residential pipes are found to be lead, they will be replaced at the same time and the homeowner charged for the replacement. To soften the financial blow, however the bill can be amortised over 15 years.

The provincial government now also wants all municipalities to reduce lead contamination in water through an identification process of homes where lead pipes are likely, a costing and replacement plan.

In Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, there are an estimated 30,000 homes with lead pipes. Indeed many of Canada’s cities have homes with lead pipes, In Halifax and Dartmouth Nova Scotia, an estimate 83,000 homes will need to replace their pipes. However, the city is providing a 25% rebate up to $2,500 to replace their pipes when the city replaces a lead pipe under the street.

Additional information- sources

Share
Categories: Environment, Health
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

*