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Lead Water Pipes

Facts about lead pipes

Saskatoon has one of the safest water supplies in North America.  Regular test results show lead level content in our drinking water supply is 100 times lower than the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency limit.

The vast majority of Saskatoon neighbourhoods do not have lead pipe connections.

Does my property have lead pipes?

Before 1950, water pipes were made with lead, which is when some older Saskatoon neighbourhoods were developed. Each fall or winter, we mail information to reduce lead in their drinking water to all properties with lead pipes. If you aren't sure about your property, check the map of areas where lead pipes are known, or contact our customer care centre at 306-975-2476 or customercare@saskatoon.ca.

Reducing Your Exposure to Lead

Run your tap before you drink the water

Lead can leach into your drinking water when it sits stagnant in household pipes. Flushing toilets, doing laundry, and running showers all help ensure your drinking water is fresh. If your water has not been used for at least 6 hours, run the cold water faucet for about five minutes before drinking or cooking. 

This water does not have to be wasted – it is safe to use for cleaning or watering plants. Keep a container of drinking water in your refrigerator so you don’t have to run water every time you want a drink. Remember that boiling water does not remove lead.

If you are concerned about lead in your drinking water, you can have your tap water tested by a private, accredited, licensed laboratory. Look under "Laboratories Testing" online or in the Yellow Pages.

Install a certified water filter

To reduce lead exposure as much as possible, especially for children under six and pregnant women, you may consider drinking water from an alternate source. Alternatively you may attach a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified filter to a drinking water faucet, or using a certified filtered water pitcher. On the packaging, look for a stamp indicating “NSF-053” and a statement that indicates the filter is certified for lead removal, as some models can vary. These filters can reduce up to 99% of lead in water. Replace filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Remove and clean your tap screen

Most household taps have an aerating screen attached to the end. Calcium carbonate can build up on the screen and absorb lead. Make it a habit to remove the screen and clean off any build up every month.

Replacing Lead Pipes

The only sure way to remove any trace of lead in water is to replace the pipes entirely. The City remains committed to remove all underground pipes containing lead and install lead-free ones by 2026. The work is being done in conjunction with necessary water main and road upgrades. An estimate of total lead connections in Saskatoon is 2,836 to the end of 2018, with approximately 380 more lead connections replaced in summer 2019.

Modernize the plumbing system in your home

The most effective way to reduce lead levels in drinking water is to remove all lead sources from your plumbing system. Consider replacing pipes containing older lead solder, and brass fittings with materials certified for contact with drinking water. A licensed plumber can determine if your home has a lead service connection, and whether the home contains lead solder, lead pipes or lead pipe fittings.

For more information on the risks of lead in drinking water visit: