May 20, 2014
By Jane Brown
How safe is your drinking water? It seems there are some concerns about that here in the city of Toronto. According to city data obtained by the Toronto Star, 13 percent of household water tests conducted in Toronto over the past six years showed unsafe levels of lead. The vast majority of failures are in aging residential areas of the city where infrastructure is old and real estate values are typically high. These include High Park, Lawrence Park, the south Annex area and sections of East York. Councillor Janet Davis represents the ward of Beaches-East York and says “the results are unacceptable and the city has to be more accountable for replacement of all the pipes that contain lead.”
An estimated 40,000 houses in Toronto still have lead pipe water service. The city relies on homeowners to initiate pipe replacement by committing to upgrade pipes on their property before the city does its portion of the line.
Lead levels beneath 10 parts per billion are considered safe by Health Canada. But many medical researchers say there is no safe level of lead in drinking water.