Windsor Utilities Commission Institutes Final Phase of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Lead Corrosion Protection Program

July 28, 2016

Windsor, ON: Windsor Utilities Commission (WUC) announced today that it will launch its final phase of its MOECC Approved Lead Corrosion Control program. The regulation requires water utilities to protect all consumers at their “tap” if they exceed the 10% threshold for lead samples exceeding the 10 ug/L Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC).

WUC has evaluated the City of Windsor’s distribution system for potential lead sources and has found that there are no distribution lead mains or lead in the incoming source water (Detroit River). However, there are other potential lead sources including:

  1. Private homes and buildings with lead service connections
  2. Buildings with lead plumbing
  3. Buildings with lead solder joints
  4. Buildings with bath and kitchen fixtures that contain lead

WUC’s action plan was developed in consultation with the MOECC and followed their “Guidance Document for Corrosion Control Planning” that resulted in the implementation of the following measures to reduce the impact of lead:

  1. Replacement of lead services
  2. Benchmarking and piloting a variety of successful corrosion control methods
  3. Addition of phosphoric acid to the treated water to passivate lead plumbing

Replacing lead service lines (LSL) is part of WUC’s annual $17M capital infrastructure replacement plan. WUC is responsible for replacing the portion of the LSL (up to the property line), while the homeowner is responsible for replacing the portion of the LSL within their property. Approximately 500 LSL’s are replaced annually. A study was conducted of successful corrosion control methods implemented across North America in jurisdictions having similar source water characteristics. This sample included review of the results from Detroit (MI), New York City (NY), Chicago (IL), Philadelphia (PA) and Winnipeg (MB). The methods identified from this review were piloted and evaluated for effectiveness at the A.H. Weeks Water Treatment Plant (WTP) to identify the type of chemical and the dose required for implementation within Windsor’s distribution system. Different chemicals, doses, and conditions were tested with the results from the testing pointing to the use of phosphoric acid as the preferred treatment chemical for corrosion control in the Windsor distribution system.

WUC will monitor the effectiveness of this program through:

  1. Daily sampling at the A.H. Weeks treatment plant with supplemental sampling taken throughout its network of distribution sample stations.
  2. Continuation of the existing summer and winter lead sampling program that samples approximately 300 residential and commercial locations annually and analyzes them for Lead.

These measures are being taken to ensure that WUC continues to provide high quality, safe and reliable drinking water to all of our customers.

About ENWIN Utilities Ltd. ENWIN Utilities Ltd. is Windsor's Local Distribution Company, responsible for the distribution of electricity and the service and maintenance of Windsor's electricity distribution infrastructure. ENWIN also provides staff, facilities and services needed to ensure safe, reliable water distribution to Windsor, LaSalle and Tecumseh, on behalf of Windsor Utilities Commission.

About Windsor Utilities Commission: Windsor Utilities Commission is the owner of the water assets within the City of Windsor and is responsible for setting water rates and ensuring the quality of the city of Windsor and the Towns of LaSalle and Tecumseh.