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City of Regina and Ministry of Environment remind residents that city water is safe despite asbestos

June 7, 2012

The City of Regina does not test for asbestos in our water, as the World Health Organization, Health Canada and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment do not consider waterborne asbestos to be a health concern.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates levels of asbestos in the water supply, but guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) do not consider waterborne asbestos as a health concern. The WHO guidelines conclude that: “There is therefore no consistent, convincing evidence that ingested asbestos is hazardous to health, and it is concluded that there is no need to establish a guideline for asbestos in drinking water.” In addition to Canada, many other countries including Australia do not test for it.

The City of Regina is regulated through the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant does extensive water-quality testing to ensure the water we supply meets or exceeds all of their requirements. For the specifics, residents can review the 2011 Drinking Water Quality Report on Regina.ca. Water is also tested each week for clarity, bacteria and chlorine once it reaches Regina.

The water in Regina is completely safe to drink and will remain so.

The City is investing $2 million in relining water pipes this year. Relining the pipes increases their service life and seals the asbestos off so it cannot get into the water. The City is committed to ongoing investment in maintaining and upgrading the water system, and will continue to invest in relining and replacing the aging water pipes.