Lead Sampling Program

Due to recent Health Canada’s decision to lower the Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC) of lead in water from 0.010 mg/L to 0.005 mg/L, all municipalities in Canada are required to complete lead testing.
Okotoks will be testing 60 homes from different neighbourhoods throughout the community, focusing on those built prior to 1975. Random testing of homes will take place the last two weeks of September and respective residents will be contacted.
Testing is taking place in response to the Canadian mandate to continue ensuring high standards for the Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Testing in Okotoks in 2020 has indicated only trace amounts of lead that are far below Health Canada’s Maximum Allowable Concentration and all Town infrastructure is lead free.
Testing will be carried out following COVID-19 safety protocols in order to maintain the health, safety and well-being of residents and staff. Please refer to the Okotoks website to stay updated on the Town’s response to COVID-19.
Residents who are not contacted by the Town can independently have their water tested through an accredited laboratory. These tests would not be free.

See FAQs below for more details.

Lead Sampling Program FAQs
Why is our water being tested?

In March 2019 Health Canada issued a new guideline for lead in our drinking water. They lowered the acceptable limits of lead from 0.010 mg/l to 0.005 mg/l. The Town of Okotoks consistently tests lower than these values. As a requirement additional testing has been mandated to ensure the safety of our water supply.

How are the homes being selected?

Homes were selected based on the Health Canada and Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) Guidelines. Homes built prior to 1975 were more susceptible to lead products during construction. So those are the primary target group while also including homes built after 1975 in order to get a well-rounded sample area of Okotoks. 

How will I know if I’m selected?

You will be contacted with a letter delivered to your door explaining the process and how to sign-up for the program. This package will also include the sampling sheet to be filled out and the disclaimer to be completed by the homeowner.

Why is my house not being tested?

Homes built prior to 1975 are the target sampling group based on construction materials in that time period that were acceptable in the National Plumbing Code. Newer homes have also been selected to give a broad sample group of our infrastructure, but all selections were random. 

If selected how do I book my appointment?

You will be required to schedule an appointment using the link provided in the letter you receive

How can I tell if my water contains lead in excess of the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water?

Lead dissolved in water cannot be seen, and has no taste or smell. Laboratory analysis is necessary to determine lead levels present in water.

Are any of the Town of Okotoks Water lines made of lead?

Okotoks has worked to replace aging water mains and water service lines. We do not have any public lead service lines within the town. However, there may still be private service lines from the property line to the house that are made of lead or contain lead. There also may be internal plumbing of the building may also still contain lead pipes and solder containing lead in these older homes. The Town of Okotoks is responsible only for the public property – whereas the homeowner is responsible for the piping on private property.

When is the sampling taking place?

Sampling will occur between September 14th and September 28th, 2020.

What will the Town do with the results?

The town will analyze the results once received from the lab and determine the risk to our water system, as well as report these findings to the Alberta Environment and Parks. Homeowners that have samples taken will be notified of the results within 14 days of the town receiving them. 

What if the results come back over the acceptable limits?

If the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) is exceeded we will complete re-sampling to ensure the results are accurate, then review the public infrastructure and notify homeowners of interim recommendations from the Alberta Environment and Parks.

Will the town be replacing private-side water lines in this program?

No - the Town is responsible for public infrastructure only, but we can help find resolutions for the homeowner if their results come back over the acceptable limits.

Will the operators be adhering to COVID protocol? What precautions?

Yes all operators will be wearing all required PPE to adhere with the municipal, provincial and federal COVID-19 mandates.

Who do I contact for further information?

The Town of Okotoks – Water Services at 1 (403) 938-1230