Lewis Maclean - January 2020

JANUARY 2020

LEAD PIPES ARE A BIG PROBLEM IN CANADA

This month, we want to focus on a topic we don’t often talk about: water filtration.

Up in Prince Rupert, B.C., it was reported that of the 25 homes tested, 21 exceeded federal safety guidelines for lead. One home even had three times more than the guideline. Over the past several years, the town of Flint, Michigan, in the United States has made headlines for lead-contaminated drinking water. People living in Flint were told to stop using tap water, even though alternatives were limited. However, researchers found the water in Prince Rupert had even higher levels of lead than Flint. There’s no doubt that many homes need to have their pipes replaced, but it’s not an easy task. Cities can replace pipes on city or municipal property, but once it crosses over to private property, it’s up to the homeowner to take care of it — they have to foot the bill for removal and replacement. Depending on the extent of the pipes, it can be a costly prospect. There is an alternative, however. Homeowners can also invest in water filtration. Some methods of water filtration are designed to remove lead. Keep in mind that not all forms of water filtration are the same. Some are designed to remove particulates and bacteria, while others can remove chemicals and metals. When buying a filter or filtration system, make sure it’s designed to remove lead. On top of investing in water filtration, it’s just as important to get your home’s water tested. Whether you’re connected to a water main or use a well, it’s important to know what’s in your water. Most homes in the Lower Mainland are likely safe (or within Health Canada’s safety guidelines), but you won’t know for sure until you’ve had your water tested. It’s good to be informed about what’s in your drinking water. When you’re informed, you can take action, if necessary, to ensure you and your family have access to safe drinking water. If you have questions about water filtration, let us know! Our technicians are equipped to test your water and help you determine if you need a water filtration system. They can even help you find the right system for your home!

You may have seen the recent headlines. There have been a lot of stories over the past few months about the high levels of lead found in drinking water in homes across Canada. Last fall, the results of a yearlong investigation came out. Nine universities and 10 media organizations from all over Canada got together to conduct the major investigations, and the results were concerning. The investigation showed that many cities and towns across Canada, including here in British Columbia, still use lead pipes. Many homes are connected to water mains that contain lead in some form. In fact, out of the 12,000 tests conducted since 2014, 33% of those exceeded national safety guidelines, and this 2019 investigation confirmed it. Another study concluded that, as of 2017, as many as 500,000 homes across Canada are connected to lead pipes. However, officials also say they don’t know exactly how many homes across Canada are connected to lead pipes — 500,000 is just an estimate. Homes built before 1975 are more likely to use lead pipes, while homes built before 1986 are more likely to use lead solder to connect copper or brass pipes. Even fixtures made of bronze or brass contained lead until 2013.

1 604-532-9625 • –Tyler Dillon

www.lewismaclean.com

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