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Residential Lead Monitoring Program

Lead Information Overview

The RM of West St. Paul Utility Department is looking for twenty (20) individual residences on the Municipal Water Supply within the Municipality to participate in the 2024 Residential Lead Monitoring Program.

In 2019, Health Canada lowered the lead health-based guideline from 0.010 mg/L to 0.005 mg/L based on a water sample collected at the consumer’s tap. In 2020, Manitoba adopted Health Canada’s guideline as a standard in the drinking Water Quality Standards Regulation. In 2024, the RM of West St. Paul was advised that its municipal drinking water system would become part of the Residential Lead Monitoring Program.

The RM of West St. Paul’s water lines do not contain lead, and the RM’s municipal water continues to be safe to consume and meets or exceeds established provincial requirements. Lead is not found in the natural water sources used for drinking water. 

Lead is a metal found naturally in the environment and can be found in the air, soil, food, water and certain other consumer products. Lead can be released into drinking water from components containing lead in water distribution or internal plumbing systems. Plumbing materials such as solder, faucets or valves may contain lead, however lead service lines (LSLs) are the most significant source of lead in drinking water. 
While lead service lines were largely phased out in the 1950’s, it was not until 1975 that service lines stopped being produced of lead. After that, plumbing materials and fittings such as solder, faucets, or valves made of lead continued to be used until 1990.

As noted, the RM main service lines do not contain lead however properties built before 1990 may have lead service lines on their private property (connecting to municipal water line) or internal plumbing valves, solder, faucets etc. 
Be Part of the RM of West St. Paul’s Lead Sampling Program

In order to qualify, individual residences in Rivercrest connected to the Municipal Water Supply will be asked to submit an application form, which can be found here. Water testing applications will be accepted until the yearly capacity has been met. The RM will accept applications and once capacity has been filled, the additional applications will be prioritized and may be conducted in the following year(s). Properties selected through the RM water testing program will receive copies of the water testing results when available. 

If you are selected for the water sampling program, the RM of West St. Paul Utility Department will be in contact with you to arrange the water sampling testing date. The entire sampling process will take around 15 minutes to complete, the utility staff will require access to main water tap. 

Should there be any elevated results from the water sampling further information will be available to residents. 
Please Note: 
  • RM testing is for residential properties on the Municipal Water System only, businesses and well water properties are not eligible for RM testing through this program. The RM will conduct limited quantities of lead testing each year
  • There is no cost to property owners whose homes are selected to participate in the program. Only property owners can request to participate in program. 
  • Only properties connected to the RM of West St. Paul’s Municipal Water System will be considered for this sampling program. Properties operating with a private well are not eligible.
  • The RM of West St. Paul will not be completing sampling outside of this program. Property owners who are not chosen to participate, but still wish to have their drinking water tested can refer to list of laboratories that offer testing services under laboratory information. Please contact individual laboratories directly for testing costs and sampling instructions. 
  • Participation in this program is completely voluntary. All information collected is for the sole purpose of the RM of West St. Paul’s Water Sampling Program, is confidential, and will not be shared outside of the requirements of this program. 
The Office of Drinking Water has been phasing in lead testing programs throughout Manitoba since 2019 starting with the largest and oldest water systems with known or suspected lead service lines. In 2024 West St. Paul has been notified of this new mandatory program and advised to implement a residential lead testing program. The objective of this program is to ensure the continued safety and on-going improvement in the quality of Manitoba’s drinking water supplies. 

The RM will be conducting select water sample tests for lead to obtain results and share with the community and with the Office of Drinking Water. Properties wishing to volunteer to have their water tested may apply to the RM and properties who meet the requirements will have testing done by utility operators and results provided to them directly.

All information collected is for the sole purpose of the RM of West St. Paul’s water sampling program to meet the criteria of the Residential Lead Testing Program being implemented. Confidential testing information (addresses, names etc.) will not be shared publicly.

The Government of Canada has noted everyone should minimize lead exposure as much as possible. However, children and pregnant mothers are more sensitive to lead exposure due to lead’s effects on the child’s developing brain. 

Lead Water Pipes – are usually a dull gray colour. You can confirm it’s a lead pipe by gently scratching the surface with a coin or sandpaper. If it’s lead, scratching the pipe will leave a shiny silver metal mark.

Copper Water Pipes - are usually a bronze, bright or dark orange colour and are made of a very hard material. Scratching a copper pipe with a coin or sandpaper will leave a faint bronze coloured mark.