Tap Water and your Home
Saskatoon's tap water is of the highest quality making it an extremely safe source of drinking
water. It is by far the least expensive and most environmentally-friendly drinking water source available. To ensure freshness from your tap for cooking or drinking, you can follow these two easy tips:
1. Run your tap for one mi nute when you wake up or get home from work. This clears
clears your plumbing of any water that may have been sitting in the pipes and brings in fresh water from the water main in your street.
2, Use only cold water for drinking or cooking. Water from your hot water tap has gone
through your hot water heater and may have picked up deposits along the way.
Water distribution systems and tap water
The City's distribution system, and your own home's plumbing pipes, also plays an important
role in your tap water quality. This is because as the water passes through these pipes and
connections, it can pick up lead deposits which dissolve in the tap water. Excess quantities of
lead may impact human health, especially in small children, so Health Canada has set a very
conservative limit of 0.0 10 mg/L oflead in drinking water.
Any home built prior to 1950 may have lead service lines from the street main to the water meter or within the home itself. Over time, lead connections do leach some lead into tap water. As a homeowner, you are responsible for the water service connection on your property as well as the plumbing fixtures/connections in your home. The City of Saskatoon is responsible for the service connection between your property line and the water main in the street.
If your home was built prior to 1950, you should, as a precaution, flush the water system
for approximately five minutes every time the water in the home has been untouched for
six hours or more. Unfortunately, you can't see, smell or taste lead in water, and boiling the
water does not remove the lead. The only effective means to measure lead levels in a home is testing at the tap. Residents can arrange for testing by a private, accredited, licensed laboratory.
Quick lead pipe test - If you are not sure if the street service connection to your pre-1950
home has been updated, you can do the quick lead pipe test. Take a key and gently
scratch the water pipe where it enters your home (likely in the basement). If you can
easily make a groove in the pipe, it is probably made of lead.
For more information on lead pipes and drinking water, visit www.saskatoon.ca, search under
"W" for Water. You can also call the City Utility Services Department at 975-2487.