Get The Lead Out!

 In Home Care Tips, Real Estate Market News

What you need to know about drinking water and Lead Water Service Lines in older homes.


The presence of lead in municipal drinking water is regulated by the Ministry of Environment (MOE). The current safe drinking water standard for lead is 10 micrograms per litre, which is approximately equal to 10 parts per billion (ppb).


Lead is naturally present in very low concentrations in the groundwater used for municipal water supply in Guelph. Testing of Guelph’s water distribution system shows average levels of lead to be well below the provincial standard. However, lead can be found in the plumbing systems and water service lines that supply water to the tap. Lead can leach into the water supply in this way.
If you live in a home that is more than 50 years old, you may have a lead water service.
Do you have a lead water service?
Guelph’s municipal drinking water is delivered to customers from a large municipal watermain in the centre of the roadway which then connects to small pipes known as water service lines. These water service lines deliver treated water into the home.
Lead piping was used for water service lines in older homes, usually built before the mid-1950s. If your home was built after this period, you will likely not have a lead service, however, lead soldering could still be present in your home, as it was used until 1990.
Lead is easy to identify, it is dullish grey in colour, leaves a silver mark when scratched, is easily pliable, and is non magnetic.

How to identify if your water service line is made of lead


Make an Appointment:
The simpliest way to identity if your water service line contains lead is to schedule a lead water sample. Although quick self inspection tests are helpful, identifying the portion of the water service line viewable at your water meter does not necessarily identify what the full length of the service is made of. The collection of a water sample by a City of Guelph Operator is an accurate way to identify whether your water service line contains lead.
To Schedule a Free Appointment:
Please contact the City of Guelph Water Services at 519-822-1260 x 2263 or by e-mailing

If you suspect you may have a lead service line viewable at your water meter, you can also perform a quick self inspection of your pipes. The following link displays pictures and techniques on how to identify lead service pipes.


blue arrow How to identify if your water service is made of lead

Are you in the lead zone?

The link with the map below indicates potential lead service areas in Guelph. If your home or business is located in the shaded area you may have a lead service. Contact Guelph Waterworks at  519-822-1260 x 2263 or e-mail to arrange for a water service inspection.




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