Keep your tap water lead-free

Living in a home built before 1955?

If your home was built prior to 1955, you may have a lead water service pipe connecting your home to the City’s water supply.

Drinking water supplied by the City is lead-free. However, trace amounts of lead can dissolve into drinking water during contact with your home’s lead pipes (including your water service pipe), brass fixtures, and lead solder. This may impact the safety of your tap water.

The visible portion of your water service pipe is located between your basement’s concrete floor and your water meter. Lead pipes are dull grey and easily scratched by a hard object.

To minimize lead exposure from tap water, you’re encouraged to:

  • Run your tap for approximately
    2 minutes to flush stagnant water sitting in your water service pipe prior to drinking or cooking.The cost of water is approximately 2 cents for a two-minute tap flushing.
  • Use a tap or pitcher-style filter to remove lead from tap water when used for drinking and cooking.Filters certified to NSF/ANSI 53 standard for lead removal are recommended.
  • Take advantage of theLead Pipe Replacement Program

    ( to help you replace your water service pipe.

  • Call 3-1-1 to have your tap water tested for lead, at no charge.

Lead and your health

  • Exposure to small amounts of lead is especially harmful for pregnant women and can have harmful effects on a child’s development.
  • For further health-related information, contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744
    (TTY: 613-580-9656) or by email at

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