City of Regina responds to concerns over lead levels in tap water

The City of Regina has responded to concerns over traceable levels of lead in tap water in certain parts of the city.

This comes after a study was recently released saying water in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Regina have levels of lead in their drinking water, as well as Montreal and Toronto. The three Saskatchewan cities however ranked among the worst in Canada.


Director of Water Works Pat Wilson says water in the city’s mains is safe and clean, and is also tested routinely.

“When it goes through lead lines, it may leech that lead, so that’s again, where we’re looking to have people take those filters because those filters will then clean that lead out of the water that they are drinking,” Wilson said. “That is the short-term solution, and then we are looking to accelerate the change-out as quickly as we can.”

Wilson says there’s a number of things to consider when comparing Regina water to the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

“There were a number of other factors; Flint had issues with Legionnaires’ disease and a number of other considerations,” Wilson said. “They also have a far higher percentage of their lines that are lead, in the city of Regina, 95% of the city-owned lines are lead free.”

Wilson said this primarily impacts older homes and neighbourhoods.

“Places that were built largely before 1960 are areas where there is a city side lead service connection, there are some individual homes even into the ’60’s and a little later that may have a private side lead service connection, but would not have lead on the city side.”

Wilson adds concerned citizens can head to the city’s website to see what they can do for short- and long-term solutions if they have lead pipes.

The Water Security Agency is also stressing the water is safe.

Agency spokesperson Patrick Boyle says comparing the three cities to Flint is like comparing apples to oranges.  He adds there are some strict protocols in place after the 2001 crytosporidium outbreak in North Battleford where thousands became sick after a problem with the city’s water supply.

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