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National reports about lead in municipal drinking water services is not a concern for Saint John Water customers


Recent media reports from the United States and across Canada have detailed national investigations and public concerns regarding lead water services used in some of today’s municipal public drinking water distribution systems. While once popular, the old lead infrastructure is known to be the cause of some serious health risks to those who regularly consume lead through their drinking water, or are repeatedly exposed to it through bathing and other activities. The challenge many Canadian cities face today is that the work required to identify and replace the lead infrastructure can take years to do and requires a significant public investment – in some cases costing ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more. The long-term benefits, however, are significant when you can safely say that public health is protected.

Saint John Water can safely say that there are no known publicly-owned lead water services used in the City’s municipal drinking water service, and the quality of the drinking water exceeds Health Canada Guidelines for consumption.

In Saint John, the work to identify and replace lead water services on the publicly-owned infrastructure began in the early 1990s when the City performed a review and created a detailed list of all lead services for the purposes of removing them from the municipal system. Between then and the mid-1990s, the City issued several tenders to replace the lead water services with copper water services that remain safely in use today. This investment of time and money was proactive and forward thinking on the City’s part, and completed in advance of many Canadian cities that are facing the issue today.

Offering peace of mind and high-quality results for Saint John Water customers: Customers have a right to know what is in their drinking water. For this reason, the City publishes water quality test results from the municipal water systems on the website on a quarterly basis. This practice will continue to ensure this information remains fully accessible and transparent to the public.   

Any Saint John Water customer who wishes to have their water tested can request free water testing by calling 658-4455. If customers are concerned about potential lead in their drinking water from their own private service or internal plumbing on their property, Saint John Water will arrange a site visit to draw samples of the water. If tests show elevated levels of lead, citizens can be informed that private infrastructure changes may be necessary. Saint John Water provides customers with all water quality sample results.

Watch this video to learn more about getting lead out of your drinking water (This message was produced by the AWWA):





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