Thursday, July 23, 2020


The front page article in today's Woolwich Observer is titled "Open letter about lead in drinking water sparks research effort by local MP". Interestingly the Observer incorrectly informs us that lead is not an issue in the Region of Waterloo. Regardless, Mr. Louis has apparently decided to do some research before signing on to an open letter sent by some of his colleagues for Ottawa to invest $400 million to "...address the public health crisis". It seems it was a media led expose of the extent of lead pipe still in use in Canadian towns and cities which has gotten the attention of a number of our members of parliament. Also interestingly lead pipes are known to be still in use in day care centres as well as in schools. It may be that the lead pipes are what are known as the service lines running from the main water line below the street into separate houses, schools and other buildings.

Here in Woolwich Township (Elmira) our municipal council has authorized the removal of lead water pipes as they are exposed during road construction and infrastructure replacement. Unfortunately the township will only replace the lead service line up to the property line of the building. They are supposed to ask the property owner if they wish to replace the rest of the service line at their own expense. My understanding from on-line info provided by the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) is that they have not replaced these lead service lines en masse, a long time ago. I find that bizarre and worse considering that lead is much more harmful to children than it is to adults. Two schools in Elmira (John Mahood, Elmira District Secondary School) either still have or as recently as 2017 still had lead service lines taking drinking water into their schools.

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