Sign Up for Testing

On March 8, 2019 Health Canada announced a new guideline for drinking water quality in Canada. Under the new guideline, the maximum acceptable concentration, for lead in drinking water will be reduced from 10 to 5 micrograms per litre.

The guideline also shifts the point of compliance from the municipal drinking water system to the tap in the customer's premises, meaning measuring lead levels in water coming straight from the tap has been identified as a more accurate approach compared to measuring for lead in the municipal reservoir.

The Town of Stony Plain's water is supplied by EPCOR from the City of Edmonton. EPCOR currently has extensive water testing in place during the treatment process and there are no measurable levels of lead in drinking water leaving the plant. To meet the new Health Canada Guideline, EPCOR is expected to launch their Lead Mitigation Strategy and begin water treatments using orthophosphate, a lead inhibitor, by the end of 2022.

In response to the new water quality guideline, the Town of Stony Plain will be testing 60 samples from households in the community beginning in August 2021 as per Alberta Environment regulations. Residents can apply to have their house or unit tested by filling out the Lead Assessment Form. If selected, applicants will receive email confirmation with further instructions. Participants will be required to submit a COVID-19 Assessment two days prior to the testing appointment.

What areas of Stony Plain are being tested?

Only area with houses built pre 1990 are being tested in the town. Houses built after 1990 would not have lead services lines in compliance with the Canada Building Code.

If you would still like to test your water, you may submit a sample at your own cost to Alberta Health Services

Sign Up for Testing

Checking your service line

Sources of lead in drinking water include: lead servicing lines, tine lead solder, and brass fittings. A quick way to tell if your household is at risk of testing positive for traces of lead is checking the water service line. 

  1. Check the colour of the pipe coming into the water meter in your home, typically in the basement near the hot water tank. You may have to slightly sand the surface of the pipe.
  2. Check the hardness of the pipe. If you think it could be lead, try gently etching the pipe. Lead is a soft metal and scratches easily. DO NOT hit hard with an object.

If the pipe is:

  • The colour of a penny: it is copper
  • Bright blue or black: it is likely plastic (polyethylene)
  • Grey: it is galvanized iron or lead

If you believe your water servicing lines put your household or unit at risk of lead exposure, you can send a photo to the town [LINK].

Ways to reduce risk of lead exposure

  • Flush standing water pipes each morning or end of the day
  • Use cold water for both drinking and cooking - hot water dissolves more lead from plumbing and boiling water does not remove lead
  • Before purchasing a filter, check the model to ensure it meets lead reduction certification. It must say NSF-53 Certified for lead reduction. These can be tap-mounted, under-the-counter units or filtered water pitchers. 


 Should I be concerned about the health of my family?
Water quality has not changed and nothing has happened to make the Town of Stony Plain believe residents are at risk of lead exposure. In the past, Stony Plain's water has tested below 5 micrograms. The new treatments and testing are in response to changes to Health Canada's guidelines and Alberta Environment regulations. While lead can lead to negative health effects, short term lead exposure is not determined to be harmful; however, long-term exposure can lead to health concerns.
 Why are only 60 houses being tested and how are these houses selected?

As per Alberta Environment guidelines, the Town will be testing 60 residences in the community. Residents can apply to have their household or unit tested by filling out the Lead Assessment Form. Once selected, applicants will receive email confirmation with further instruction.

Sign Up for Testing

 I wasn't selected for testing but want to test my water for lead. What can I do?
If you are not among the 60 residences to register for testing, you can contact a certified lab to receive a water testing kit. Residents should be aware these tests are not for free and will not be absorbed by the Town.
 What is orthophosphate and it is dangerous?
Orthophosphate is a lead-inhibitor that is used to inhibit lead from leaching into water. The additive creates a protective coating on the inside of the pipes and plumbing that prevents lead from leaching into drinking water. It has no impact on taste or odour of water and is a common additive in beverages. Learn more about orthophosphate
 How do I know if my water has traces of lead?

Sources of lead in drinking water include lead servicing lines, tine lead solder, and brass fittings. If you believe your water servicing lines put your household at risk of lead exposure, you can send us a photo of your service line.

Send a Photo 

 What can I do if my water results come back positive?
If your results are positive, Town Staff will return for a second test within 30 days. If the second test is positive, you will be advised to use a NSF 53 filter. These filters can include pour-through pitchers, faucet mounts, and refrigerator filters. EPCOR will be performing water treatments by the end of 2022. Once the orthophosphate treatments begin, your water will be tested again. If the water treatments do not result in lower lead levels, service line replacement will be the next step.