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Lead testing program to be conducted in Redcliff

Posted on April 21, 2020 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Justin Seward


Redcliff town council passed the motion of adding an additional $10,000 to the water operations budget so the public works department can start the Lead Management Program at its April 13 meeting.

It was in November that the provincial government, through Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), mandated every municipality to create and implement a program that manages lead in drinking water systems.

The decision came after Health Canada lowered the maximum accepted limit to five micrograms per liter of water from the original acceptable rate of 10 micrograms per litre of water.

“Initially in the first year, we will have to increase the budget to allow for more testing in peoples’ places and then we have to pick the places. We’ll probably pick older areas where there is a bigger chance of lead being in the system than a newer place where most of the stuff nowadays is made lead-free,” said Mayor Dwight Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick says if any lead is actually found then there is going to have to be remediation work, an idea he was uncertain about what the province is going to do with.

Corey Popick, the town’s director of public services, says samples can only be taken during the warm water season, which is from May 1 through to September.

“We’re going try and hold off a little bit with this COVID-19 stuff and putting guys into houses,” said Popick.

“Once the tests are taken, they’ll go to a third party laboratory for sampling and once we get the results, they have to be presented to the home owner within 14 days. The information is also shared with Alberta Environment.”

The town has identified 40 of the higher risk structures based off AEP’s stipulations.

“We’re principally looking at older properties, more pre-1975, with a heavier focus to pre-1960,” said Popick.

“The reason those dates are selected is because when lead service lines, lead solder and lead-type fixtures were used and approved for use in construction in the past,” said Popick.

The selected houses will be mailed a letter with information stating if those residents are willing to work with the town for a test and then the test would be scheduled while the homeowner is home.

Phase 1 will require detailed planning and community communication programs that will necessitate every service line located, mapped and size and materials identified.

The town will be using the AEP approved 30-minute stagnation sampling protocol for single or multi-family (fewer than eight units) residential sites. During the process, two-125 mL water samples will be taken for single-family residential sites and two one-litre water samples will be taken for single-family residential sites.

Two town employees will conduct each on site water analysis. Those employees are estimated to be in the residence for 90 minutes.

Phase 2 of the program will begin in 2021 where a more long-term analysis is required to consider the installation of NSF 53 filters.

Council briefs

Eastside sewage surge tanks

Council moved for administration to move forward with the Eastside sanitary sewage surge tanks on Ninth Avenue and if necessary after tendering the project for construction, make any budget increase request to council prior to the contract for construction be awarded.

Westside Redevelopment Plan

Council approved for administration to start the Westside development plan with a goal of completing the initial public consultation phase by the end of August 2020.

The plan came about after pressure was put on the town to redevelop the area after the greenhouses became financially unviable and closed.

Senior centre roof

Council decided to go with a metal roof for the seniors centre roof replacement at acost of $43, 340.

Blessing of the Bikes

The Blessing of the Bikes event at the Gordon Memorial United Church was cancelled on May 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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