Drinking water testing

Spruce Grove’s drinking water is safe and clean.

Water suppliers are responsible for providing drinking water that meets the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

When drinking water leaves Spruce Grove’s reservoirs it contains no measurable amount of lead. And, there are no known service lines made from lead in Spruce Grove.

However, under certain conditions, lead can leach into drinking water through contact with building plumbing after it has been delivered to a property.

Tap water testing

Health Canada has new guidelines for the acceptable amount of lead in drinking water. The limits have been reduced from 10 parts per billion to 5 parts per billion.

As a result, the City of Spruce Grove must test our drinking water to ensure it meets the new guidelines.

To facilitate this testing, starting June 7, 2021, City employees will be going door-to-door in pre-selected areas of Spruce Grove requesting to take water samples and doing inspections of water service lines to the water meter. Samples must be taken from the tap inside a home because lead in drinking water can come from lead service lines or plumbing in houses.

Not all houses will be tested. If a City employee does knock on your door, your participation in testing is voluntary. You can decline to have your water sampled.

City employees will follow all applicable provincial public health guidelines when entering homes.

If you take part

A City employee will ask permission to enter your home to take the sample and do the inspection, which takes 10 to 15 minutes.  

The City employee will ask a few COVID-19 safety questions before entering your home. They will also gather some personal information so you can receive your test results within 14 days of the City receiving the results. The analysis usually takes 30 days.

What happens next

No lead in your results
Your part in testing is done.

Lead in your results
A second test is required.

FAQ

Health Canada has new guidelines for the acceptable amount of lead in drinking water. The City must follow Health Canada’s guidelines and test our drinking water.

Yes. Spruce Grove’s drinking water is safe and clean. When drinking water leaves Spruce Grove’s reservoirs it contains no measurable amount of lead.

No. Areas of Spruce Grove with older water and sewer service lines are being prioritised for increased numbers of samples.  Newer areas will also be randomly sampled to ensure that they are not affected by the plumbing in the homes. 

At this time, the City is not providing water tests on request. If you would like to have your water tested, please contact CARO Analytical Services, 17225 109 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5S 1H7, (780) 489-9100. If you choose to collect your own water sample, it will be considered separate from the City’s testing and you will be responsible for any testing fees.

Yes. The water received from the Capital Region Parkland Water Services Commission produced by EPCOR is monitored at the treatment plant and is compliant with Alberta Environment and Parks regulations.  The City also tests its two water reservoirs for lead annually to ensure it meets Health Canada’s guidelines. When drinking water leaves Spruce Grove’s reservoirs it contains no measurable amount of lead. And, there are no known service lines made from lead in Spruce Grove.

The best way to tell if you have a lead service pipe is by sampling your water at the tap. However, inspecting the service pipe can give you a general sense of what it’s made from.

Step 1
Find the shut off valve in your home. The pipe to inspect is the one between the shut off valve and the floor. 

Step 2
If the pipe appears to be the same color as a penny, it is likely copper. If it appears to be blue/green, it is likely plastic. If the pipe appears grey, it could be iron or lead.

Step 3
If you think your water service line could be lead, try gently etching into the pipe. Lead is a relatively soft metal and scratches easily. Do not attempt this if you think the line could be plastic.

Consuming lead effects neurological development and behaviour in children. Adults may experience increased blood pressure and kidney-related health concerns.

Although anyone who drinks water with too high a concentration of lead is at risk, children, pregnant women and babies in utero are most at risk.

There are a variety of ways to maintain good quality drinking water, including:

  • Do not use hot water from your tap to cook or drink. Use cold water and heat it up.
  • Replace brass fittings that contain lead.
  • If you haven’t used your water in six hours or more, run cold water for at least three minutes if you will be drinking the water. Consider collecting the water to feed plants or wash dishes to reduce wasting water.
  • Install a water filter device and ensure you are following the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation, maintenance and operation.

Learn more from EPCOR about maintaining good quality drinking water.

 

More information

pw@sprucegrove.org
780-962-7584