Lead (Pb) is an odourless, bluish-grey, shiny metal that is malleable, ductile, and resistant to chemical corrosion. Lead occurs naturally in bedrock, soils, tills, sediments, surface waters, groundwater, and seawater.

While lead is a naturally occurring element, extensive man-made use has resulted in its widespread presence in the environment. Although levels of lead in the environment have declined significantly over the past few decades, Canadians are exposed to low levels of lead through food, drinking water, air, dust, soil, and products. The main route of lead exposure for the general adult population is currently ingestion from food and drinking water, followed by inhalation.

Lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to infants and children. Adverse health effects include developmental neurotoxicity, as well as neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, renal and reproductive effects.

All information is directly sourced from Canada.ca

To learn more about Lead visit: Final Human Health State of the Science Report on Lead.

Why is it important to replace my lead service line?

Although daunting to remove if left untreated, Lead from water pipes can dissolve into drinking water, which can contribute to the risk of intellectual disability and other chronic health conditions in individuals who are exposed. Households with pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, or young children under the age of six, are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead, even at low levels. Individuals with nutrient deficiencies may also be more vulnerable to lead, as it will occupy the same absorption sites in the body as other dietary nutrients, such as magnesium. This implies that nutrient-deficient individuals can absorb more lead than those with a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet.  

The City is offering the Private Lead Water Service Replacement Program to help accommodate the financial barriers that come with replacing your home’s private service lines. The goal of this program is to make this change as accessible as possible and help our community remain strong and healthy.