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Lead and Drinking Water

Greater Vernon Water (GVW) has no known lead water mains. We enhance drinking water during the treatment process at the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant with either pH control or the addition of zinc orthophosphate. The zinc orthophosphate forms a protective coating inside all pipes and creates a barrier between pipes and water to help prevent the metal in the pipes from leaching into the water.

We sample our water routinely to make sure it meets Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, which includes sampling for lead at two of our sites within Greater Vernon Water which have never had lead levels exceeding the current Health Canada guideline. The two sites are the Allenby Pump Station (receives water from Kalamalka Lake) and Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) #2 (receives water from Duteau Creek). The current laboratory results from these two sites are located on the Water Quality Reports and Analysis webpage below the section titled "Comprehensive Drinking Water Analysis by Distribution" and listed as "Kalamalka Distribution Site - Allenby Pump Station" and "Duteau Creek Distribution - PRV #2).

What Residents Can Do to Avoid Lead in Their Homes

It is important for residents to understand that most cases of lead in drinking water are from private connections. Your house may have lead in the pipes, plumbing materials or in the service bringing water from our infrastructure into your house.
If you suspect your pipes have traces of lead which could leach into your drinking water, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Turn on your tap and let the water run until it is colder before consuming it.
  2. Remove and clean aerators within your home periodically to eliminate possible lead particle buildup in taps.
  3. Purchase a water filtration system that is NSF International standard certified to remove lead.
  4. Contact a certified plumber to inspect the pipes for lead and evaluate the possibility of replacement.
  5. Always use cold tap water for drinking or cooking, as hot water can have higher lead concentrations.

Resources

Health Link BC Lead

Health Link BC Lead Factsheet

Canadian Water and Wastewater Association Lead Factsheet

Government of Canada Lead Factsheet