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Lead Pipes

Anne Odell wrote(1/14/09):

It's a problem if (a) your house was built before 1955, and (b) you do not have copper pipes bringing water into your home.

That's what they say at,, however, at]] <> they say that the source of the lead is either lead pipes or lead solder and fixtures on copper pipes, so I don't know how safe having copper pipes is. At the Toronto City website they say they are posting info about pipe replacement in the fall of 2008, but apparently they are "behind" on that.

The pipes from the water main into your house could be a problem. I wasn't here three years ago, but unless they dug up everyone's front yard I doubt they replaced all those pipes.

For safety sake, flush the toilet and wash your hands before breakfast, and run the cold water tap till it actually runs cold. That should be enough to flush out any lead in your pipes. Lead is especially an issue in households with small children.

I don't think this is an issue for us. Our pipes were all replaced in the neighbourhood about three years ago I believe. I remember the summer the city did it because for weeks, I had to gingerly drive my car over a substitute pipe across my driveway that was running water above ground while they fixed the infrastructure below. LOL

Allison Dick wrote:

Just to confirm, they did dig up out the front of everyone's houses. It was an absolutely massive neighbourhood wide undertaking that lasted weeks. At any rate, I was just providing the info in case anyone was under the impression that absolutely nothing had been done in regards to pipes in our area.

Jason T BOYLE wrote (15-Jan-09):

Has anyone on the listserv had their water tested for lead? There's been a lot in the news recently about high levels of lead found in water in older homes in Toronto. I'm also on the Brockton Neighbours listserv. They've been having an interesting discussion about the topic. Part of it is posted below: I'm pretty certain that the pipe coming into our house is still lead. The inspector that we hired to look at the house before we bought it two years ago said so. I also unfortunately cracked the little peice of pipe that comes into the house before the shut of valve and had that piece replaced by a plumber and it was definitely not copper. I know typically the home owner is responsible to replace half of the lead piping from the street -- is it possible the city did their part and the previous home owner didn't pay to do the piping on our property?

Eric Klaver wrote (15-Jan-09):

Hi Jason,

We had ours replaced (house built 1904 - galvanized steel pipe) a few years back. It is possible if you are in old Brockton that your house is older than mine and lead pipes were used.

There was a program where the city will replace your pipe to your property line for no charge. You pay from there to your foundation. If you are lucky, like us, it is only a metre to your foundation (we have a front lawn but it is in fact city owned street Right of Way). We only had to pay for a metre (the charge was $250/metre). You are also obliged to have a water meter installed.

You can call 416-392-4546 to see if the program is still running.

Caveat - make sure you know where your property line is. The city contractor "made a mistake" and tried to charge us for 2 metres.

The City sponsors a lead test if you suspect-- [[http://]]

Cynthia French wrote (18 Feb 2009):

Our front lawn is being dug up as I type because our neighbour had an extremely high lead result, and they needed to dig our yard to get at theirs. They asked if we had our pipes done already and I wasn't sure. It turns out that the previous owner had them replaced 11 years ago. I thought I'd let you all know that if you want to find out whether the work has already been done, just call 416-338-8888 and wait (for about 10 min) for an actual person to pick up. They just need the address.

Dewson and some of the surrounding streets (I didn't get specifics) are due to have these old pipes replaced this year. They are doing any houses that haven't been done already. So, if you want to know whether you'll have a garden destroyed this summer, or are fretting about whether you've got lead, I'd recommend you call the number.

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