Lead pipe management report to be brought to council every two years instead of annually

Regina city council voted to have a report on the initiative to replace lead pipes throughout the city presented every two years instead of annually.

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Council voted 6-3 to have the executive committee report to council on the LSCMP every two years.

Kurtis Doney, acting executive director of citizen services, said the number of lead connections replaced, the number of filters given out and how much testing has been done (including the results of those tests) will be available to the public in the form of a report done every two years.

Coun. Shanon Zachidniak wanted the report to be done yearly, but said that the two-year report would be better than no report at all.

The executive committee has not yet determined what the report will cost the city.

In a report prepared by the public works and infrastructure department, progress on replacing those connections to reduce lead contamination accelerated again in 2022.

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Random water sampling was conducted at 106 homes built before 1960, with 53 testing over Health Canada’s guideline of 5 micrograms of lead present per litre.

The water filter program, expanded to be offered annually, distributed 432 filters for an increase of 43 per cent from 2021, at a cost of $37,216.

More than 12,000 warning letters were sent to residents 2022, a third to those with confirmed lead connections.

A total of 233 city- and private-owned lead connections were replaced in 2022, surpassing 193 in 2021 and 118 in 2020. Of those, 210 were completed through city construction programs, costing $1.89 million.

An estimated 3,000 identified lead service connections remain. At the target rate of 220 per year, the replacement program will take another estimated 12 years to complete, which would meet the set goal of 2036 to remove all city-owned connections.

Annual reports on this program have been required since 2018.

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