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Lead Testing Information

Does your home or business qualify for free lead testing?

The intent of the program is to test for lead at locations where lead service lines are present or suspected (on the Township side and/or the private side) or where indoor plumbing may have lead solder present or suspected.

Water service piping can usually be seen in the basement of your home, usually running along the ceiling or wall in the utility or furnace room. Your water service is the first pipe that enters your home through the wall or floor in the basement and is connected first to the water meter. 

Water services are composed of several materials including copper, iron, lead and plastic.

Plastic piping will be found in newer homes and is distinctive in appearance. It is usually blue, black, white, clear or grey in colour, bends easily, and will often have glued or threaded joints. Scratching plastic piping will not create a significant mark. Tapping plastic piping will produce a hollow sound.

Copper piping is very common and can be identified due to its bronze/copper color that resembles the appearance of a one cent piece or penny. Joints are usually made with copper fittings and solder or with brass or bronze fittings. When you scratch a copper pipe, a shiny, copper coloured line will become visible. A green stain will be apparent where moisture or water has been in contact with copper pipe. 

Lead piping is used in older homes, usually built before 1952. Lead is usually dull grey or silvery in color, is relatively easy to bend, and can be scratched and scraped easily. A good way to identify lead piping is to scratch the surface with a coin or similar object.  Lead piping that has been scraped or scratched will have the appearance of a 10 cent piece.

Water service pipes are sometimes made of iron which can be identified by its hardness and black, painted, or rusty finish. Iron pipe is usually much more difficult to scratch.   

To participate in the Community Lead Testing Program, the locations which will be given sampling priority should:

  • have known or suspected lead service lines (constructed before mid 1950s);
  • have known or suspected lead-soldered plumbing (constructed before 1990).

The benefits of having your water tested

Having a lead water test done as part of this program allows the homeowner and the Township of King to determine whether lead service lines or lead pipes are present in the home/business establishment.

There is no cost to you for the sample collection visit or laboratory costs.

The program will require a commitment of approximately one hour of your time and we may ask to collect a sample from your premises for up to two consecutive sample periods.

Your commitment to the program

If you would like to participate in the program, a licensed Township of King Waterworks operator will visit your home at your convenience to collect a sample of water from your cold water kitchen tap and verify if you have a lead service line. The appointment will require approximately one hour of your time and there is no charge for this service.

The cold water tap will be flushed for five minutes and then shut off for 30 minutes to allow contact time with the plumbing materials. During this time, we ask that no water is used within your home. After the 30 minute stagnation period, the operator will collect two successive 1.0 litre samples which will be analyzed for lead by an accredited laboratory. The pH and temperature of your water will also be measured.

Lead testing results

The results of lead analysis will be shared with you within seven days. Please note that as required by the Regulation, this information will also be made available to York Region Public Health and the Ministry of the Environment.

Contact the Engineering and Public Works Department if you are interested in participating.