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Accelerated water testing postponed until 2021

The City of Côte Saint-Luc is postponing until summer 2021 water testing at all 3,200 single-family homes and duplexes built before 1976.

The city set aside funds for water tests and went to tender to find a supplier to complete the work in 2020. The city received one bid, from SIMO Management. The testing involves a technician entering the home to take a water sample. Given the regulations from Quebec about essential services and the uncertainty about when social distancing measures will be relaxed, our supplier has said it will not be able to fulfill the mandate in 2020.  The testing will be done in 2021, assuming the pandemic is over. 

“Even as we are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, we know it will eventually pass and we will be able to focus on other issues, including water service lines made of lead and water testing inside home,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “We budgeted enough funds to test water at all 3,200 homes and found a supplier to do the tests. We are disappointed it will be delayed, but even if our supplier was able to do the work, we don’t believe our residents would be comfortable welcoming a technician into their home at this stage.”

According to Quebec regulations on potable water, the testing in homes must be done in the three-month period between July 1 and October 1.

A water service line refers to the underground pipe connecting your home’s internal plumbing to the municipal water main. There are two parts to this service line: the municipal portion that goes from the water main under the street to the property line, and the private portion that goes from the property line to the home. Lead was historically used in service lines and in plumbing fittings and solders. Until 1975, lead was an acceptable material in pipes based on the National Plumbing Code of Canada, so it is more likely to be found in older homes and neighbourhoods. Over time, the corrosion of lead pipes and plumbing can cause lead to leach into drinking water.

The City of Côte Saint-Luc revised its action plan on lead pipes in 2019 to include accelerated water testing in homes, accelerated service line exploration through pneumatic excavation, accelerated  replacing of water service line pipes made of lead, and a filter rebate for affected homes. See Lead pipes and drinking water for more information.