City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

EX Public Report.
EX22-24

2021 Lead Service Connection Management Program Update Report

Information

Department:Water, Waste & EnvironmentSponsors:
Category:Not Applicable

Report Body

ISSUE

 

City of Regina (City) Council requested Administration to provide an annual update report on the City’s Lead Service Connection Management Program (LSCMP) detailing activities undertaken to advance the program.

 

IMPACTS

 

Policy/Strategic Impact

 

The LSCMP is consistent with Design Regina: The Official Community Plan (OCP) as follows:

 

·              The LSCMP meets industry best practices for managing lead service connections (LSCs) (OCP D4 Goal 1 - Safe and Efficient Infrastructure).

·              Additional financial resources to replace City-owned LSCs helps make the City’s LSCMP accessible to all property owners of Regina (OCP D11 Goal 5 - Social Inclusion: 13.19).

·              The 2022 updates to the LSCMP require the replacement of the private side LSCs when City-owned LSCs are replaced, helping to improve the condition of existing housing stock (OCP D6 Goal 2 - Existing Housing Stock: 8.9).

 

Financial Implications

 

There are no new financial implications with this report.

 

Environmental Impact

 

City Council set a community goal for the City of achieving net zero emissions and sourcing of net zero renewable energy by 2050. In support of this goal, City Council asked Administration to provide energy and greenhouse gas implications of recommendations so that Council can evaluate the climate impacts of its decisions. The recommendations in this report are administrative in nature and are expected to have limited direct impacts on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. 

 

OTHER OPTIONS

 

No other options were discussed in regard to this report. 

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

Education awareness and awareness about enhancements to the LSCMP will continue in 2022. Communications will continue to focus on providing information to residents that may have City-owned or privately-owned LSCs.

 

Educational information included is the notification of the new requirement for mandatory replacement of privately-owned LSCs when a City-owned LSC is replaced and the financial payment options available to assist residential property owners with the private-side replacement. Communications will include:

 

·              Advanced notification letters to property owners affected by construction, where City and privately-owned lead service connections will be replaced as part of a project.

 

·              Improved accessibility to information on Regina.ca/leadservice, including online application forms for the filter program and payment options for mandatory lead service connection replacement.

 

·              Annual notification letters to all City-owned LSC locations that include information on impacts on lead in drinking water, updates to the LSCMP along with free filter and water testing options.

 

Administration will continue to work with community partners and groups to collaborate to reach residents and increase uptake of annual water filters.


DISCUSSION

 

The water received from the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant and in the City’s water mains is free of lead, meeting the City’s regulatory obligations. If the water touches materials containing lead, lead can enter the water. Lead can be found in some water service connections, which connect the water mains to individual buildings, and in the plumbing inside some buildings.

 

Several factors determine whether and how much lead is present in tap water, including water chemistry, the condition of an LSC and whether lead containing materials are present in the building’s plumbing. Water in contact with any lead bearing plumbing materials can leach lead into the drinking water and pose a risk to anyone, but specifically pregnant women, infants and children.

 

The City is responsible for the City-owned portion of the water service connection from the water main to the property line. The property owner is responsible for the privately-owned portion of the water service connection from the property line into the home, as well as in-house plumbing (Appendix A).

 

The City does not maintain records of the material used in the private side service connections. Approximately 12,000 buildings in Regina were constructed in areas and during time periods (up to approximately 1960) when lead pipes were historically used. We estimate that 7,000 to 8,000 privately-owned LSCs may remain.

 

Regulatory Requirements

 

Provincial and federal agencies recommend that municipalities address the issue of LSCs. Previously, the Water Security Agency (WSA) strongly encouraged municipalities to conduct ongoing water testing. Beginning in 2022, the WSA will require the City to perform sampling in plumbing that serves private residences at 100 locations, sampling in plumbing that does not serve private residences at 10 locations and sampling at points in the distribution system at 20 locations. 

 

While the WSA does not require that both the City-owned and private portions of the LSC be replaced together (full replacement), they do recommend it, as replacing only a portion of an LSC may cause higher lead concentrations in tap water.

 

Current Program Activities

 

·         Replacements:

o        The City currently replaces the City-owned side of LSCs when they break or during planned major road upgrades. The City-owned portion of the LSC is replaced during re-development of an existing property with an LSC. The City also replaces a City-owned LSC when requested by a property owner, where the private portion of the water service connection is not lead.

 

o        The City replaced 193 City-owned LSCs through City construction programs in 2021.

 

o        The cost of the replacement of the City side of 193 LSCs was approximately $1.75 million. 

 

·         Testing:

Beginning in 2022, the WSA will require the City to perform sampling in plumbing that serves private residences at 100 locations, sampling in plumbing that does not serve private residences at ten locations and sampling at points in the distribution system at twenty locations.  Previous to 2022, there were no lead sampling requirements.  The City offers eligible residents two options for testing:

o        Random Testing Study:

§         Testing locations were completed at properties where residents expressed an interest in the program, and who live within the areas of the city with known lead water service connections.

 

§         The testing includes 11 samples taken during a number of different conditions to simulate various water use scenarios. 

 

§         Sampling was completed at 10 residential homes in 2021. Sampling activities were limited due to the constraints of COVID. 

 

o        In-Home Point of Use Testing:

§         The second testing program offered by the City provides eligible property owners and residents an option for lead testing where property owners collect and submit their own tap water sample and the City covers the analytical costs.

 

§         In 2021, the City received and fulfilled 140 requests for in-home point of use testing. Of those, 39 residents have completed their in-home test. 

 

·         Filters:

o        Eligible residents have the option to receive a City-provided filter or rebates up to $100. On March 24, 2021, Council approved a motion to provide eligible residents with filters or a rebate up to $100 annually.

 

o        In 2021, the City provided $28,200 of support to residents through this program:

 

§         257 City-provided filters in total costing approximately $24,000.

§         45 rebates at a total cost of $4,216.43.

§         In 2021, the City hosted five Filter Days at four different locations where eligible residents could pick up a free filter from the City. The City provided 21 filters to eligible residents through Filter Days.

§         To promote ‘Filter Days’, the City reached out to local community associations and their networks, advertised at the different locations where ‘Filter Days” were hosted and promoted on social media to increase attendance for filter distribution.

 

·         Communications:

o        In 2021, Regina.ca/leadservice was enhanced to provide residents with alternate options to access the City’s LSCMP. These enhancements include:

 

§         A searchable database of addresses with known City-owned LSCs.

§         Online application for a water filter request.

§         Online application for a rebate for a resident purchased water filter.

§         Online application for City-owned LSC replacement when the private side is replaced.

§         Links to Health Canada, Saskatchewan Health Authority and the National Sanitation Foundation for further information regarding lead in drinking water.

 

o        An annual notification letter is provided to residents residing at and owners of properties serviced by a City-owned LSC.

 

o        In 2021, the City mailed 4,062 letters where records indicate that a City-owned LSC is present. This includes sending letters to the property owner and the resident living in the home.

 

o        The annual notification letters included new program information regarding the mandatory replacement of the private side of LSCs and payment options for property owners when the private side of an LSC is replaced.

 

o        The annual notification letters included information regarding health concerns and a Health Canada information page.

 

o        Education material is provided on Regina.ca/leadservice and directly to participants of the testing programs regarding actions residents and property owners can take to reduce their potential exposure to lead.

 

DECISION HISTORY

 

In 2017, City Council approved additional elements for the LSCMP Report, including testing and a water filter program for residents (CR17-74). 

 

In 2018, City Council received an update of 2017 and proposed 2018 program activities. Administration was directed to provide a report to Public Works and Infrastructure (PWI) Committee annually on the progress of the LSCMP (CR18-27). 

 

In April 2019, a report was submitted to PWI to provide an update on the progress of the LSCMP (PWII9-9)

 

On December 3, 2019 Council approved a motion that Administration prepare a report for PWI Committee in March 2020 that considers and analyzes potential enhancements to the LSCMP(MN19-23).

 

On March 25, 2021, as part of the 2021 Utility Budget, City Council approved a continuous supply of water filters for eligible residents as part of the LSCMP.

 

On May 26, 2021, (Lead Service Connection Management Program Report CR21-90), City Council approved:

 

1.              A 15-year LSC replacement program with mandatory private-side replacement, with a target completion year of 2036.

2.              Program support options with payment options up to 10 years for qualifying residents for full LSC replacements.

3.              A two percent Utility Rate increase beginning in 2022.

 

Respectfully submitted,

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