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​Our Lead Management Program

In 2008, we started our Lead Management Program to ensure our Edmonton customers with lead service lines on the utility side were receiving good water quality. Only 1.6% of homes in Edmonton have a lead service line on the utility side.

Today, as part of this program, we:

  • Send annual letters to notify customers when our records show the EPCOR portion of their water service line is lead.
  • Offer water sampling by appointment or provide home sampling kits for customers to test their lead levels at the tap. 
  • Offer water filters (one-time, point-of-use) that are certified to remove lead, if used properly.
  • Educate customers and provide advice on how to maintain good water quality with a lead service line.
  • Avoid partial replacements as replacing only one section of a lead service line can temporarily increase lead levels. When partial replacements are required for water main repairs and renewals, we notify customers.
  • Uphold standards for new infill development. We do not support the reuse of lead water service pipes for redeveloped properties, and we work with property owners to connect new water services.

​Collecting a Water Sample

Our Lead Management Program has introduced a new home sampling program to help efficiently and effectively collect water samples. Watch our Lead Sampling video to learn how to collect a water sample at your home. It is important that your water is sampled correctly in order to have accurate information about lead in drinking water.

​Contact us: EPCOR Lead Management Program Representative

General tips for good water quality

  • Don't use water from your hot taps for drinking, eating, cooking or baking. Only consume water from your cold taps, then heat it up if needed.
  • Run your cold water tap for at least 3 minutes, or until cold, any time you haven't used the water for 6 or more hours, if you will be drinking or cooking with it. This flushing time can be reduced if combined with other water use like flushing toilets, showering or running household appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine.
  • If you're using a water filter system, follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Properly condition new filters before their first use, and replace used filter cartridges as required. Adding lemon slices to your water is a great way to neutralize any odour along with store-bought carbon filters.
  • Take note of construction in your area. Following these general water quality tips is particularly important if construction is occurring near your property, as ground disturbance has the potential to disturb the service line and temporarily increase lead levels in your tap water.

In addition to these general tips, you can take any of the following steps to maintain good water quality.

1. Install a water filter

If you purchase a water filter from a home improvement store, ensure the filter you choose is NSF-53 Certified for lead reduction.

Here are some water filtration options.

Filtered water pitcher

COST OF FILTER: $25 and under
FILTER TYPE: Activated Carbon (NSF-53 certified)
LIFESPAN: 2-3 months

Tap-mount water filtration unit

COST OF FILTER: $25 - $40
FILTER TYPE: Activated Carbon (NSF-53 certified)
LIFESPAN: 2-3 months

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Fridge water-dispenser unit

COST OF FILTER: $55 and over
FILTER TYPE: Activated Carbon (NSF-53 certified)
LIFESPAN: 6-12 months

Under-the-counter water filtration unit

COST OF FILTER: $55 and over
FILTER TYPE: Activated Carbon (NSF-53 certified)
LIFESPAN: 6-12 months

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2. Check to see if you have a lead service line

There are no measurable levels of lead in drinking water when it leaves our water treatment plants. But lead may be found in tap water for those homes with lead pipes or if there are lead plumbing components or fixtures inside your home.

Only 1.6% of homes in Edmonton have a lead service line on the utility side. These residences are part of our Lead Management Program and can receive free water testing. 

Customers who do not have a lead service line but are still interested in a water test should purchase one from an accredited lab.

3. Replace in-home plumbing fixtures

If you have plumbing fixtures, such as faucets that contain lead or leaded-brass, consider replacing them with lead-free fixtures.

4. Replace your lead service line

Replacing your lead service line will reduce lead in your drinking water. It'll also help improve water quality throughout your home in comparison to point-of-use filters, which only remove lead at the tap where they have been installed.

In the past, EPCOR replaced our portion of lead services lines during the construction season (May to October). We prioritized replacement for homes with young children and pregnant women. We also prioritized homeowners who chose to replace their portion of the line, as replacing only one section of a lead service line has been shown not to be as effective in reducing lead levels in the home and may result in temporarily increased lead levels.

As a result of the new Health Canada Guideline, EPCOR will be working with the City of Edmonton to develop a new lead service line replacement program as part of our Lead Mitigation Strategy. We will be providing more information and reaching out directly to customers with lead service lines in the coming months.

In the meantime, if you are considering replacing your lead service line, please contact our Lead Management Program Representative first at (780) 412-6858.

Your responsibility with water service lines

The water service line is divided between the utility and the property owner.

  • A water service line is the pipe that connects your property's plumbing to the water main in the street.
  • The utility's portion of the service line runs from the water main under the street or alley to the property line.
  • The homeowner's portion of the service line runs from the property line to the water meter in the home or building.
  • This split ownership is common to most cities in North America.
  • EPCOR does not have records for the homeowner portions of water service lines.

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