Town of Yarmouth Water Utility - Regular Testing for Water Quality
The Town of Yarmouth Water Utility delivers high quality water to all customers connected to the distribution system. We ensure that quality by using a robust quality sampling program. Our water is regularly tested by an independent lab to ensure it meets the Canadian drinking water quality standards.
Test results consistently show Canadian standards are met for all quality parameters including metals that have negative health effects such as lead. Results demonstrate the quality of the water throughout the distribution system and up to the public/private property water supply line.
Reducing Metal Levels: Treating for Corrosivity
Water in our system is treated to limit corrosivity. This type of treatment helps to minimize the amount of metals such as lead, copper, and other unwanted metals and materials from getting into the water as it enters and contacts supply piping, plumbing, and fittings in residences.
Treating for corrosivity also provides the distribution system infrastructure with a level of protection to ensure its longevity for the future.
Why is Corrosivity Treatment Important?
Harmful metals can find their way into your water as it enters the property. Supply piping and on-site pipes and plumbing could be made from older construction materials containing harmful amounts of metals such as lead. Today, the amounts of harmful materials like lead in plumbing are greatly reduced from what they were decades ago, but some older homes can still contain these materials. Treatment to reduce corrosivity can help reduce exposure and keep levels below the “maximum acceptable concentration” or MAC in homes.
But even with treatment, unwanted amounts of metals can find its way to your tap. Of those metals, lead can bring significant negative health effects even in small amounts, especially to the more vulnerable such as children and pregnant women.
The problem of older “legacy piping and plumbing” that can contain these materials, and the risks they can bring, is on the forefront of Federal, Provincial, and Municipal government agendas with regard to water quality. Of key importance moving forward will be to determine and minimize risks to consumers. Lessening the exposure risk to lead is very important and is one of the top objectives.
New Lower Maximum Allowable Concentration of Lead
New lower federal Canadian drinking water standards for the maximum concentration of lead in drinking water are now in place. The new level is 0.005 mg/l (or parts per million.)
New Testing Requirements
New testing requirements have been put in place by the provincial government for municipal water utilities in Nova Scotia. As part of ensuring we meet these new requirements, the Town of Yarmouth Water Utility will now sample and analyze a representative amount of water samples at the private consumer taps in older homes that may have supply piping made from lead, or older plumbing that may contain lead in the solder or other fittings. These tests will serve to check for the corrosivity of the water by measuring the concentration of lead.
Previous requirements for testing for municipalities traditionally has been for the water quality in the main line up to the private supply, and not on private property. The new standard requires testing in homes which will require cooperation from private owners.
Lead in Water at the Tap
Measurement of the concentration in the water, from the point of use, is the best way to help inform the consumer of the potential of risk of exposure to lead whether from the lead lateral supply and/or plumbing in their home.
Water in the Town of Yarmouth distribution system is essentially lead-free. If testing reveals the presence of lead at the tap, the cause is likely to be lead laterals and/or plumbing installed decades ago. The testing results at the tap will supply information to the water utility so it can move forward proactively in playing its role to help advise of risk potential and offer advice to customers on ways to reduce the risk of exposure to lead.
For more detailed information on lead in drinking water, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/consultation-lead-drinking-water/document.html
Water Testing Reports
These tests are performed to ensure metals/elements in water are kept within maximum acceptable concentrations (MAC). The following reports provide detailed measurements from each location as well as the MAC for each metal/element.
Metals/Elements Results September 2020
Metals/Elements Results August 2020
Metals/Elements Results July 2020
Metals/Elements Results June 2020
Metals/Elements Results May 2020
Metals/Elements Results April 2020
Metals/Elements Results March 2020
Metals/Elements Results February 2020
Metals/Elements Results January 2020
Metals/Elements Results - December 2019