Lead Water Service Replacement
In the City of Hamilton there are about 20,000 homes built before 1955 that may have a lead water service pipe connecting the homes to the city municipal water supply. The maintenance, repair or replacement of the portion of the water pipe on private property is the exclusive responsibility of the homeowner. Hamilton Water is authorized to repair or replace the portion of the water pipe on City property.
How to identify a lead water service pipe in your home
If your home or apartment building was built before 1955 follow the steps in this video to find out if you have a lead water pipe. If you rent your home, call your landlord, superintendent or property management company to ask about the water pipes in your home or building.
Check Size and Type Inspection
If you are still unsure of your water service type, call 905-546-2489 and request a free Check Size and Type Inspection of your water service line.
Lead Water Service Replacement Loan
If it is determined through a Check Size and Type Inspection that you have a lead service line and you would like to have it replaced, the City of Hamilton can provide assistance.
A $3,000 interest-bearing loan opportunity exists from the City of Hamilton for property owners who would like to replace their lead water line. The loan, including interest, will be transferred to the owner’s monthly water bill for a maximum ten-year repayment period. Once you’ve completed the water pipe upgrade, the City will replace the public section of the water service pipe from the property line to the water main.
Low Income Zero Interest Loans
Home owners who have qualified for low-income energy customer support programs such as, LEAP (Low-Income Energy Assistance Program) or OESP (Ontario Electricity Support Program) are eligible for a zero interest loan to cover the cost of the replacement. The loan will remain interest-free unless the customer defaults on payments.
- Must be the owner(s) of the property.
- All owners of the property must fill out the loan application.
- The owner(s) must remit the loan application fee.
- The existing pipe must be substantially composed of lead.
- Have obtained a minimum of 1 quote for the work from a licensed Contractor.
- All property taxes must be current at the time of application and at time of loan payment.
- The owner(s) must complete and sign the Commitment Letter.
- The owner(s) must meet all the conditions of this Program.
Download the Lead Water Service Replacement Loan Package. Complete, sign and submit your loan application by email or mail.
Email completed loan application to [email protected]
Please note: All applications must be signed. You must print, sign and scan your application before emailing it.
Mail your signed application to:
Attn: Lead Replacement, Customer Service
City of Hamilton – Hamilton Water Division
Public Works Department
330 Wentworth Street North
Hamilton, ON L8L 5W2
What to do if you have lead water service pipes
Tap water is safe for bathing, showering, brushing teeth, washing dishes and clothes even if you have a lead water service pipe.
The City of Hamilton started a Corrosion Control Program in November 2018, which will help protect residents from lead exposure from lead pipes, lead based fixtures and lead solder. It will take time for orthophosphate to build up a protective barrier throughout the entire Woodward distribution system and linked plumbing surfaces. A monitoring program is in place to assess the effectiveness of orthophosphate and its performance in the system for lead control.
If you have a lead water service pipe, you need to determine what you will do for drinking water.
For children older than seven years of age and adults including breastfeeding mothers, use tap water but turn on the tap to run water every day for at least five minutes before using water for drinking or preparing food or juice to reduce lead levels. You must turn on the tap to run water, called flushing, every morning before you use water for drinking or cooking or any time your water has not been used for six hours or longer. Flushing your cold water tap reduces the lead in your tap water, but does not necessarily eliminate it.
Boiling your tap water does not remove lead. Do not use water from the hot water tap for cooking or drinking.
Children six years of age and under, pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should use tap water with a filter approved for lead removal by the National Sanitation Foundation or bottled water for drinking, making food, juice, coffee or tea. Approved filters have “NSF/ANSI-53 for lead removal” on the label with the NSF logo.Check for filters that meet the NSF-53 Standard by:
- Selecting Lead Reduction under Reduction Claims for Drinking Water Treatment Units – Health Effects and clicking Search
- Calling 1-800-673-6275
It is important to follow the filter manufacturer's instructions. When using a filter be sure that:
- The water is free of bacteria; this is certain to be the case when using City of Hamilton water
- You change the filter when recommended by the manufacturer
Children six years of age and under, pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy may use bottled water or tap water with an approved NSF-53 filter for drinking, making food, juice, coffee or tea.
Bottled water does not usually contain fluoride; check the label for fluoride or F, if you want water with fluoride in it or call your dentist about your family’s dental health. Check the label for lead or Pb; it should have a zero beside lead content.