Recent regulation changes and media reports have sparked some interest in lead levels in local municipal water systems. The Town of Edson has previously tested our water supply and mainline water distribution for lead without concerning results.
Recently, regulations have changed, lowering the acceptable limits from 0.01 mg/L (10 ppb) to 0.005 mg/L (5 ppb).
In 2018, distribution lines were tested for lead levels at 51st Street and 1st Avenue. The results came back at 0.0014 mg/L (1.4 ppb), well within the new guidelines. A private property was also tested at the taps with similar results. Several well sites were tested with results ranging between 0.0003 and 0.0021 mg/L (0.3 and 2.1 ppb).
While the Town distribution levels continue to be well within limits, there is still some questions about private lines within individual properties. Private property services or plumbing within homes over 40 years old could contain lead material, which may result in varied lead levels in the water.
The Town is reviewing regulations to determine how it can best address the changes and improve water quality for all residents. A new testing program is being developed, which will involve testing water at the tap at locations around the community. Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) is also in the process of creating some new communications for the public, including on how residents can identify the material used in their service lines, why the testing is being done, and information on how to reduce lead levels.
Consumer cooperation in the testing will be key in ensuring the program is a success. More information will be made available as it is passed on by the regulators and as plans are developed.