EPCOR needs money to lower the lead levels in Edmonton’s drinking water – a cost that may wind up on residents water bills. Although officials from EPCOR and the city said the drinking water is safe, levels must be reduced to meet new federal regulations. Earlier this month Health Canada cut acceptable lead levels in half, from 10 micrograms per litre to five.
Looming changes to Health Canada’s acceptable concentration levels of lead in drinking water could see a wash of city homes creep above the recommended level, Epcor warned city council’s utility committee Thursday. Presently, it’s considered safe to have up to 10 micrograms per litre in drinking water. But Epcor officials said Thursday that the federal health agency is signalling it will lower that level to five micrograms per litre, a change that will affect more than 30,000 Edmonton homes.
The Coldwater Indian Band, which asserts traditional territories in south-central B.C., said the pipeline route passes an aquifer that is the sole supply of drinking water for its main reserve “This is a major victory for my community,” said Coldwater Chief Lee Spahan. “Thankfully, the court has stepped in where Canada has failed to protect and respect our rights and our water.”