If you have concerns about lead levels or any other elements in your drinking water, feel free to contact MBWD office at 250.743.9023.
Vancouver Island Health Authority Statement - November 8, 2019
Sampling for lead in homes is the responsibility of the homeowner. If you are renting a home, we recommend connecting with your landlord to discuss sampling.
There are two labs that service Vancouver Island that conduct lead testing noted below. Other labs can be found at http://lmlabs.phsa.ca/Documents/PHO%20Approved%20Laboratory%20List.pdf
Laboratory Name: Bureau Veritas Canada (2019) Inc.
460 Tennyson Place, Unit 1
Victoria, British Columbia V8Z 6S8
Tel: +1 250 385-6112
Toll free: 866 385-6112
Fax: +1 250 382-6364
Laboratory Name: MB Labs LTD
2062 West Henry Avenue
Sidney, B.C. V8L 5Y1
Lead may be sampled using various methods depending on your circumstances and desired objective. Identify which sampling method you wish to use and the lab will provide you with instructions on how to sample:
- First Draw and Full Flush sampling – This is a series of two tests that involve taking the first water at the start of the day, which may have the highest lead concentration, and a second sample after running the tap for an period of several minutes. This method will tell you if running your tap for a period of time is sufficient to reduce lead levels.
- 30 Minute Stagnation – This is a single sample method for evaluating the usual amount of lead in the drinking water your house and is reflective of normal household use.
Health Canada recommends that the Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC) of Lead in drinking water be 0.005 parts per million (ppm) or 5 parts per billion (ppb). Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) are available to help interpret the water quality results. Feel free to contact your local Health Protection Environmental Service Office (https://www.islandhealth.ca/our-locations/health-protection-environmental-services-locations). Please provide them with the method of sampling you used to test your water.
A flushing program may be sufficient to reduce the levels of lead in the water to within the guidelines. Additionally, NSF 53 certified Point Of Use (POU) devices (filters) can be installed at the faucet to remove lead from the drinking water. These can be purchased at most local hardware stores and can be installed by yourself or a certified plumber. It is important to note that these units must be properly maintained to achieve the desired result.
For more information, see the following web sites:
Health Link BC: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/lead-drinking-water
Ministry of Health “Guidelines on Evaluating and Mitigating Lead in Drinking Water Supplies, Schools, Daycares and Other Buildings”: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/air-land-water/water/waterquality/how-drinking-water-is-protected-in-bc/guideline_on_reducing_exposure_to_lead_through_drinking_water_april_26_2019.pdf
Health Canada “Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality”: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/guidelines-canadian-drinking-water-quality-guideline-technical-document-lead.html