In 2019, Health Canada recognized the serious health impacts of lead by lowering the maximum allowable concentration in drinking water.
While there is no lead in drinking water when it leaves our treatment plants, EPCOR is working to meet Health Canada’s standards by identifying and replacing lead water service lines in Edmonton.
However, lead can still leach into drinking water from home fixtures and other plumbing surfaces.
Fortunately, orthophosphate–a safe additive that occurs naturally in foods–bonds to pipes and fixtures and has been used by municipalities around the world to create a protective barrier on plumbing surfaces that helps prevent the release of lead into drinking water.
EPCOR is adding orthophosphate to the water treatment process in early 2023 to help Edmonton and surrounding municipalities meet Health Canada’s guidelines.
Will I notice this change?
Residents will not notice any change in the taste, odour or colour of their water. Orthophosphate occurs naturally in foods and municipalities across North America have used orthophosphate as a lead inhibitor for many years.
Businesses that use water for manufacturing, food processing, petrochemical production, or commercial heating and cooling, may need to make adjustments to their processes. We recommend contacting a process consultant, equipment manufacturers or your industry association to see if you need to make any changes.
More about orthophosphate in water