Volunteers sought for CBRM water sampling program
July 7, 2021
SYDNEY, NS - The CBRM Water Utility is seeking volunteers for lead and copper sampling in residential tap water. The program is for customers of the CBRM Water Utility and is not for those whose water source is a well.
The Water Utility routinely monitors water quality within distribution systems. Last year, Nova Scotia Environment introduced additional sampling requirements for lead and copper within customers’ homes.
This sampling program will be provided free of charge to a limited number of customers in each CBRM distribution system (Sydney, Glace Bay, Northside, New Waterford, Louisbourg, Floral Heights and Centreville). Participants will be registered on a first come first serve basis until the program goals are met.
Customers can apply online at www.cbrm.ns.ca/water-utility
This water sampling will determine if lead and copper are present in customers’ tap water and a results letter will be provided.
Although lead and copper can occur naturally in the environment, their main source in drinking water is through leaching of plumbing materials such as pipes, solder, faucets, and fittings. While copper is an acceptable material for use in plumbing, lead is no longer an acceptable building material. The National Plumbing Code allowed lead material in pipes until 1975, lead in solder until 1986, and lead in fittings or faucets until 2013.
In 2019, Health Canada lowered their maximum acceptable concentration for lead in drinking water from 0.010mg/L to 0.005mg/L and introduced a new maximum acceptable concentration for copper of 2 mg/L. They also changed the acceptable locations for sample collection. Samples for lead and copper must now be collected within homes and buildings where customers obtain water for drinking and cooking.
The municipality aims to conduct sampling at over 200 residences from among the municipality's water system customers.