The Saskatchewan City of Regina says it is making inroads to replace the city-owned side of lead service connections, with just 3,600 remaining, less than half of what existed in years past.
According to an April 18 public works committee report, Regina will continue its push to replace all lead pipes before 2050, after a Health Canada report tabled earlier this year reduced the maximum acceptable concentration of lead in drinking water from 0.010 mg/L to 0.005 mg/L.
Regina continues to be focused on increased lead service connection replacement, of which it already has a target of 160 for 2019. The capital budget includes $4.5 million for the replacements. Regina replaced 144 city-owned lead service connections through construction programs in 2018. This 32% increase is up from 109 connections replaced in 2017.
The City is also looking at improved public communication and better record keeping for both Regina and privately-owned lead service connections. In late 2018, the City mailed 4,468 letters to all owners and residents of properties where records indicate that a city-owned lead service line is present. Letters are also sent to property owners seeking volunteers to participate in water testing; and lastly, information is targeted to property owners in areas where lead service connections may have been used on either side of the property line.
Regina is also exploring the feasibility and implications of corrosion control technologies.
“The City will continue to explore the addition of a corrosion control chemical to the water to reduce lead in tap water,” states the committee report. “Work is currently ongoing to analyze the technical requirements and understand their implications. Changes to water chemistry are complex and can have impacts on the wastewater treatment system.”
EPCOR, working in Edmonton, Alberta., has been busy with similar lead management programs.