The City of Prince Rupert has issued a reminder for residents today, advising that if they do not know for certain that their plumbing does not contain lead, that a flushing regimen is a wise approach to ensure that we are receiving a fresh source of water from beyond the home.
The City's information statement included some notes on recent testing in the community and the findings from that review.
Included in the review, is the advisory that letters have been sent to affected residents and building owners.
Recent water quality testing conducted by the City in conjunction with Northern Health was completed in just over 60 homes throughout Prince Rupert. This testing has revealed that approximately 10 homes of those tested had elevated levels of lead due to leaching from residential home plumbing systems. Samples were taken in the morning on the ‘first flush’ from the tap, after the water was left to sit overnight, so it should be noted that these levels are not representative of the water being drawn through the tap throughout the day once stagnant water has cleared.
Letters have now been sent to affected residents and building owners, and homes with elevated levels are being contacted and provided the opportunity for secondary testing to help determine the source of lead within the home.
This higher proportion of homes with noted issues has highlighted the need for additional public messaging, with this notice being accompanied by a video available on the City’s social media platforms and YouTube channel. Due to the prevalence of lead in home plumbing solder prior to 1989 (and lead content in fixtures further reduced in 2012), combined with the age of Prince Rupert’s housing stock, it is possible that many homes throughout the community may have some level of exposure to lead through home plumbing.
A similar notice was provided and mailed to all residences in the community in August of 2018, however given these test results, we would like to reiterate the importance of flushing, filtering water, and/or replacing home/commercial plumbing containing lead to avoid possible exposure.
The statement goes on to advise that regular samples are collected from testing stations within the community and show lead results which have been noted as well below Federal and Provincial standards.
The notes from the city also highlight how the City does not have lead service lines within municipal infrastructure, and have not encountered lead service lines on private property. Recent test results support the absence of municipal lead service lines, as residences with elevated levels were broadly dispersed within the community, and not in one or two ‘problem’ areas that could be tied to underground infrastructure.
The reminder on flushing for the community also provided the City with an opportunity to once again to make mention the Funding award of earlier this week towards a water treatment facility, as well as to offer up some helpful advice for homeowners when it comes to their own plumbing within the house.
We encourage people where possible to consider replacing all plumbing components containing lead, or to continue to conduct regular flushing until such time as replacement is feasible.
The City has also included a video featuring an update from Mayor Lee Brain who speaks both to the lead issue and recent progress on water issues.
You can review the city's full statement on water from today from the city's website and Facebook page.
You can review more notes related to the city's infrastructure issues from our archive page
To view the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.