Lead in Drinking Water Service Lines

Over the past few decades exposure to lead has decreased significantly due to a reduction in the use of lead as an additive in gasoline, paint, and solder.

However, contamination can still occur from:

  • Lead piping and pipe fittings within the home.
  • Lead solder in plumbing.
  • Lead water service lines (the pipes that carry water from the watermain to your home).
  • Brass fittings may also contain lead.

Ontario Drinking Water Standards for Lead

The Ontario Drinking Water Standards for lead is 10 micrograms per litre. This level was set to protect the most "at risk" population, pregnant women and small children.

Even small amounts of lead can be harmful especially for developing brains of fetuses and children under the age of six. Today, most of a child's lead exposure is from food, dirt and dust. The amount of lead exposure from drinking water is low compared to all other sources.

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Lead in Your Plumbing or Service Line

Older homes and properties are more likely to have lead in the plumbing or the service line.

  • Newer homes generally do not have lead in the plumbing.
  • Homes built before 1952 may still have lead service connections or internal plumbing.
  • Homes built before about 1990 may have lead solder connecting the copper pipes.

You may be able to determine yourself if you have lead in your service line.  However, the most accurate way to establish this is have a licensed plumber do an inspection.

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What is Halton Doing?

  1. Testing the treated water leaving Halton purification plants to confirm there are no detectable levels of lead.
  2. Replacing all region owned lead service pipes. To date almost all known lead service lines have been replaced.
  3. Encouraging homeowners and other property owners to replace privately owned lead service lines.
  4. Educating the public by providing information on lead in drinking water.  

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For More Information

Visit these websites:

Additional Resources:

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