Canadian Municipal Water eBulletin

CWWA Water Quality Committee – Submits Comments on Proposed Lead Guideline

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As reported in previous issues of the CWWA E-Bulletin, Health Canada recently published a proposed Guideline document for lead in drinking water, lowering the Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC) to 5 µg/L, from the current Guideline of 10 µg/L. It is important to note that this new MAC is based on analytical limitiations, and the document recommends maintaining lead levels at " As Low As Reasonably Achievable".

Our Drinking Water Quality Committee reviewed the proposed Guidance and submitted comments. The Committee supported the new lower MAC, recognizing that lead can have long term health consequences and utilities need to be proactive in implementing corrosion control programs and lead service line replacement. However, the Committee was concerned about the consequences of such a drastic change, especially for smaller utilities, who may not have the resources or knowledge to react. We also had some technical concerns regarding sampling protocols and laboratory accreditation.

The complete submitted comments are available from our website.


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