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June 7, 2007
City releases results of recent lead testing
The City of Toronto has completed the lead testing ordered by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) on May 23 and submitted the results on June 6. Out of the 20 homes tested by Toronto Water, two (10 per cent) of the homes had samples that exceeded the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standard (ODWQS) of 10 ppb (parts per billion).

The results from the fire hydrant samples (indicative of the distribution system) were all well below ODWQS limits.

In addition to the required test results, Toronto Water also submitted the results of an additional 160 samples from private properties, taken during the period of January 1 to June 2. Of those samples, 12 (less than eight per cent) exceeded 10 ppb. Samples were also collected from fire hydrants near the 12 homes that had the elevated lead levels and all the results were well below the limits of the standard.

Homes found to have lead exceeding the 10 ppb are immediately referred to the City’s Water Service Repair Program and designated as priorities for replacement. Through this program, the water service line is replaced, from the watermain to the property line, and the homeowner is advised that it is best to have the private portion changed at the same time. Change outs on homes designated as priorities are typically completed within four weeks. Cases of homes that significantly exceed ODWQS limits are changed out within five days.

“The City has had a program to address the lead issue in place for many years and we will continue to invest in the renewal of all our infrastructure,” said Lou Di Gironimo, General Manager, Toronto Water.

Since the MOE order was issued, the Central Lab of Toronto Water has received more than 600 requests from homeowners for lead testing and will complete all of them.

Toronto Public Health is advising that homeowners with lead levels above Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standard who are waiting for replacement of their water service pipes should take steps to reduce their lead consumption by using a water filter or bottled water. Filters should state that they remove lead and be certified as meeting the appropriate drinking water standards. Residents are advised to check the label on bottled water to ensure it does not contain lead.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Lou Di Gironimo, General Manager, Toronto Water, 416-392-8200
Dr. David McKeown, Toronto Medical Officer of Health, 416-338-7820



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