Water test results: average lead concentration below norm, 84 percent of tested homes at or below norm

The City of Côte Saint-Luc data released today showing that the average lead concentration of 6.7 ppb in water tests is lower than the maximum acceptable concentration for lead, which is 10 ppb according to the Regulation respecting the quality of drinking water. The Quebec government announced in October 2019 that it would update the regulation to reduce the maximum acceptable concentration to 5 ppb.

In addition, 84 percent of tested homes had lead concentrations in water at or lower than the current norm of 10 ppb, while 39 percent of tested homes had lead concentrations in water lower than the future norm of 5 ppb.

The water tests were conducted from 2013 and 2019 at 238 households in areas where the city believes there are water service lines made of lead in single-family homes and duplexes built before 1976. These test results are submitted to the Quebec environment ministry each year and are also reviewed by the Montreal public health authority.

Concentration de plomb lors de la visite initiale (n=238)Lead concentration at initial visit (n=238)
Lead concentration at initial visit

The table of results and statistics are available at CoteSaintLuc.org/leadpipes. The page also includes a map showing the blocks where water tests were done and the level of lead.

“Whether Quebec says that the maximum acceptable concentration is 10 ppb or 5 ppb, the bottom line is that we want our residents to be able to reduce lead intake to as close to zero as possible,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “That’s why we revised our action plan to provide a $50 rebate to all homeowners in areas believed to have water service lines made of lead and to accelerate the replacement of the public portion. Look for the NSF-053 certification on water filters, as those are the ones that remove 99 percent of lead.”

Côte Saint-Luc announced its action plan in November, which includes the accelerated replacement of the public section of water service lines in the parts of the city with single-family homes and duplexes built before 1976. Before that year, there is a good chance that water service lines were made of lead.

Percentage of households in Côte Saint-Luc with water service line in lead versus water service line in another material (usually copper or cast iron) based on a statistical estimate by the City of Montreal of 3,200 homes.

“We call on homeowners to change their section of the water service line at the same time as we change the public one,” Mayor Brownstein said. “Until that work is complete, we encourage residents to follow Health Canada recommendations to reduce exposure to lead to the lowest possible levels, which would be accomplished through the use of a lead-reducing water filter—particularly for the most at-risk groups, which are pregnant women, and children age 6 and younger.”

Starting January 2020, the City of Côte Saint-Luc will provide a one-time $50 rebate towards the purchase of water filters to every single-family home and duplex built prior to 1976, which are the areas in which the city believes there are water service lines made of lead. Information is at CoteSaintLuc.org/leadpipes .

All the test results Côte Saint-Luc has performed are from the areas of the city where it believes there are water service lines made of lead.