Clean Water But Old Pipes: Identifying Canada’s Hidden Lead Problem
Updated on February 10th, 2021
Across Canada, lead levels in tapwater have been found to exceed the recommended amount suitable for drinking use. Installing an NSF-regulated water meter can help identify toxins like lead as well as ensuring safe and clean water use in both the home and the workplace.
A recent study conducted by Canadian universities and media organizations found a huge underlying problem: While Canadian drinking water was generally clean of lead when leaving municipal plants, the lead pipes that serviced commercial and residential properties were old and began to leak into the water source, contaminating it with trace elements of lead.
Health Canada states on their website that “the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) for total lead in drinking water is 0.005 mg/L (5 µg/L)”. This is concerning, as the study found that in 11 cities across Canada, “one-third — 33% — exceeded the national safety guideline”.
33% Of Cities Surveyed In Canada Exceeded The National Safety Guideline For Lead Contamination.
The study found that the main issue was ignorance of the fact, which rings true: On the municipality’s side, the water flowing out from treatment centres are within recommended levels. This leads the properties to assume that their water must be fine to drink. This is clearly not the case with old lead pipes: Studies have shown that ingesting too much lead can lead to lead poisoning, lowering intelligence in children and affecting personality changes in adults. In severe cases, lead poisoning can cause seizures and paralysis.
Businesses should protect themselves from potential liabilities. Installing intelligent water submeters that are able to detect trace contaminants is crucial, whether existing or new construction. Water submeters like our GWF line have been tested to ensure NTEP, MID, AWWA and NSF-61 compliance for any meter used for consumption.
What is NSF-61?
We’ve recently written about NSF-61, so feel free to take a look. In short, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is a Health Canada-approved public health and environmental organization that puts water meters through stringent tests to certify no harmful chemicals will be found within a water system.
Protect your business and protect your employees. Installing water submeters with an intelligent reporting platform MeterConnex can detect irregularities in your water system, and alert you to any potential problems, whether it be lead, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, or worse.
Have questions? Contact us today.