The City of Castlegar water source is virtually lead-free. File photo

The City of Castlegar water source is virtually lead-free. File photo

Castlegar water tests nearly lead-free

Unlike many other Canadian cities, Castlegar’s water is free of the metal contaminant

Residents of Castlegar shouldn’t be concerned about lead in the water system.

That’s from the director of Castlegar’s municipal services, Patrick Gauvreau.

“It’s well within the acceptable levels,” he says. “I don’t think it’s an issue at this point.”

Gauvreau made the comments following on a recent report about lead levels in municipal water systems across Canada.

A year-long investigation by more than 120 journalists from nine universities and 10 media organizations collected test results that measured exposure to lead in 11 cities across Canada.

The investigators found high lead levels in several communities, including Prince Rupert.

But Castlegar’s water source has almost no lead, says Gauvreau.

“Our water is out of the Arrow Lakes watershed, and we test every year,” he says. “We test mineral levels, lead levels etc. And the lead levels over the past number of years have been between 0.001 mg/L, to 0.0005 mg/L, which equates roughly one microgram to half a microgram per litre.”

That works out to less than one part per billion. The national guideline is five parts of lead per billion.

With no lead in the water mains or service lines to homes, there’s really no source point for lead to enter the system, Gauvreau said.

“The only issue I can see if there’s an older facility with lead piping inside the building — like an old institutional building, or a school. And we would have no control over that,” says Gauvreau.

Anyone concerned or curious about their personal lead situation can get their water tested privately.