To view a map identifying areas which may have lead service connections, click here (pdf).
IS THERE LEAD IN THE WATER?
John Braam, P.Eng, City of London Division Manager, Water and Sewer Operations states:
First of all I would like to advise that we are finding the majority of service pipes in the areas are constructed of materials other than lead service pipes. The City of London is committed to providing all homeowners within the area with a sample at the tap to determine lead levels. The testing requires about 1 week for the analysis but we do have a backlog of samples to be conducted. The sample time has stretched to about 2 weeks or so but has been impacted by ability to access the home…so it may stretch out a bit more yet. Currently we have had sampling requests for about 4300 homes in the core areas.
We have been working on the resolution initially by providing the customers with the information and testing results that indicate whether or not they are impacted by lead issues; copper and other service materials are not impacting customers. We have been careful to identify and educate customers and particularly the vulnerable population groups to which exposure of high lead levels can cause long term (chronic) concerns. In many cases the lead level is reduced below the standard by simply flushing the standing/stagnant water, this is why the sampling program (lead analysis) answer is required. The interim/longer term means of dealing with the problem is to review and possibly adjust the water chemistry to reduce uptake of lead. The process engineering is underway and we expect to move forward with recommendations and a solution by the end of the summer. If chemistry analysis and a resolution that minimizes lead uptake is successful the objective is to reduce the lead uptake to the level to the point where use of water through a lead services does not exceed the standard. The long term and most complete way to deal with the lead services is to replace them, this option is more costly, involves construction and obviously cannot be completed for all lead services in the short term. We are providing the information on the lead analysis and confirmation of the service material into the home. We also provide information on the lead service replacement program. Basically, if the homeowner elects to replace the lead water service then the private property section from the property line to the home must be replaced by a contractor at the expense of the homeowner, then the City will replace (at it’s expense) the part the goes from the water main to the property line. This does not apply to business or commercial properties. The costs have a range and are directly related to the length and the home owners property value, i.e. may need to go through an elaborate garden, pressed concrete parking area or under a verandah. The costs for many of the installations (on private property) have ranged from about $1000 to 3 or in some cases even $4000. Cost per foot is not an appropriate or accurate means to determine home owner costs. The City’s cost is generally $5 to $6000 but can be as high as 10 to $12,000 again depending on restoration requirements. The average costs have been in the neighbourhood of $6,500 with about 15% of that cost apportioned to the homeowner.
ENSURING THE SAFETY OF LONDON'S DRINKING WATER
The City has developed a three-phased action plan to address lead issues and to maintain high quality, clean drinking water and is going to work with a small number of homeowners to discuss ways of mitigating lead water pipes. For additional details please see the April 23, 2007 media release and accompanying FAQs on lead sampling as well as the April 26, 2007 media release concerning the identification of City staff who test water in homes.