Lead in Drinking Water
Regina’s water supply from Buffalo Pound and the water in the City’s water mains is safe.
Health Canada has set a limit for lead in drinking water as 0.010 mg/L and the lead level in Regina’s drinking water when it enters the distribution system is less than 0.0001 mg/L or 100 times lower than the Heath Canada limit.
Visit Health Canada’s website for information about drinking water recommendations.
Lead can cause a variety of adverse health effects when people are exposed to it over long periods of time. These effects may include increased blood pressure in some adults, delays in normal physical and mental development in babies and young children, as well as deficits in attention span, hearing and learning abilities of children.
Call the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s Environmental Health Department with any health concerns or for information on health effects at 306-766-7755.
The only effective means to measure lead levels in a home is testing at the tap. For an evaluation of lead levels inside your home, you may participate in the City’s Random Testing Study program for free if your home qualifies. Residents can also arrange for testing by an accredited laboratory. Look under “Laboratory Testing” in the Yellow Pages. Fees vary.
What can I do about lead?
- Use cold tap water:
- Use the cold water tap for drinking and cooking. Keep a container of drinking water in your refrigerator so you don’t have to run water every time you want a drink.
- Run your tap before you drink water:
- Flush the water system by running the cold water tap for about five minutes if the drinking water has been sitting in the lines for six hours or more.
- Flushing toilets, doing laundry, running showers and other water use activities will flush standing water, but you should still run the drinking water tap for one minute. This water does not have to be wasted – it is safe to use for cleaning or watering plants.
- Install a certified water filter:
- Purchase a home water filter that takes lead out of water. You should make sure it is certified to National Sanitation Foundation/American National Standards Institute 53 (NSF/ANSI-53) for lead removal and also replace filters as needed, clean and keep it running properly. While the health risks are considered very low, children under six years and pregnant women should consume drinking water from an alternate source.
- Other options include installing a filter attached to a drinking water tap or a certified-filter water pitcher. The filter should be certified to NSF Standard 53 for removing lead. Visit the NSF website for more information.
- Remove and clean your tap screen:
- Clean the tap by unscrewing the aeration screen and flushing the debris from it and other internal parts.
- Upgrade your plumbing:
- Make sure that when you buy taps, valves and pipes for your home’s plumbing, they are ‘lead-free’. The manufacturer can tell you this. When fixing or replacing water pipes, valves and tap in old homes, use a licensed plumber and tell them to use lead-free materials.