Emergency: 780.882.7800

Lead Service Connection FAQ's

For any questions about the material below please contact our Customer Contact Centre at 780.882.7800 or email repair@aquatera.ca. Thank you to the City of Calgary for their assistance with these FAQ's.

Are Aquatera customers exposed to high levels of lead in the water?

There are no measurable levels of lead in drinking water when it leaves our water treatment plant and Aquatera is unaware of any lead materials in its owned infrastructure. Older homes may have a lead service line or lead plumbing and fixtures specifically:

  • Some homes may have a lead service line – the pipe connecting the house plumbing to the water main – the National Plumbing Code allowed lead as a material in pipes until 1975.
  • Brass faucets and fittings may contain lead.
  • Some plumbing may contain lead solder – the National Plumbing Code allowed lead in solder until 1986.

How can lead get into my tap water?

Despite the high quality of drinking water delivered to consumers from regulated water treatment facilities and distributions systems, the lead from older service connections and plumbing can leach into your tap water.

Leaching can happen when water flows through older lead service connections or plumbing, particularly if they are corroding, or through brass fittings that may have high lead content. Higher concentrations of lead are generally found in samples taken from taps that have not been turned on for more than six (6) hours in homes built before 1960.

What is Alberta’s standard for lead in drinking water?

The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, adopted by Alberta through regulation, specifies a maximum acceptable concentration for a number of parameters. The maximum acceptable concentration for lead in drinking water to protect public health is 5 micrograms per litre (parts per billion) or 0.005 mg/L.

How can I tell if my water contains lead in excess of the maximum acceptable concentration in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water?

Lead dissolved in water cannot be seen, and has no taste or smell. Laboratory analysis is necessary to determine lead levels in your water.

Aquatera records indicate that no lead line or lead services are within the regional distribution system. Should lead be encountered, it is immediately replaced with copper services.

Who will pay to replace lead pipes?

The section of service pipe between the water main and the curb stop is owned by Aquatera. Aquatera is responsible for the costs associated with this portion of the line. The section between the curb stop and the house is owned by the home owner. They homeowner is responsible for costs associated with this portion of the line.

How do I know if my plumbing or service connection contains lead?

Generally, the age of a home is a good indicator of the likelihood of having lead service
connections. Homes built prior to 1960 could potentially have lead in their water service
connections.

A plumber or a licensed home inspector can identify lead pipes within your home. You can also contact Aquatera to come physically inspect to determine if the service line within your home is lead.

What should I do if I live in a house with a lead service connection?

There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe and efforts to reduce lead levels as low as achievable are strongly encouraged by Health Canada.

Where can I get more information?

For more information – you can email repairs@aquatera.ca or call 780.882.7800.

For health information with respect to lead, you can call Alberta HealthLink at 866.408.5465.

For information on the quality of drinking water from Aquatera, you can contact Alberta
Environment’s information line at 780.427.2700 (or you can dial 310.0000 first for toll free access).