Advisory: OMWA calls for provincial Lead Elimination Strategy

ONTARIO, Sept. 21, 2022 /CNW/ – The Ontario Municipal Water Association (OMWA) is calling on the provincial government to implement a Lead Elimination Strategy for drinking water and plumbing systems.

Even the smallest amount of lead in drinking water can have far-reaching and serious health consequences for many consumers of water including infants, young children, expectant mothers, and older adults.

Virtually all negative health outcomes caused by lead exposure from drinking water are preventable, yet the lead issue lives on in many communities across the province.

What: Webinar to introduce OMWA’s recommendations for a Lead Elimination Strategy

When: Friday, September 23, 2022, 11am

Who: 

  • Stephen Gendron (City of Orillia)
  • Kathy Vassilakos (Councillor, City of Stratford)
  • Cheryl Beam (City of Greater Sudbury)
  • Jacqueline Wilson (Canadian Environmental Law Association).

Media can attend by registering at https://omwa.org/events/webinars/.  Interviews on this issue can be arranged by contacting Nick Benkovich.

The OMWA represents many of the Municipalities and Public Drinking Water Authorities in Ontario. OMWA’s mission is to act as the voice of Ontario’s public water authorities through actions which sustain and protect the Life Cycle of Water

Background on Lead in Drinking Water systems

Lead was once believed to be safe for use in potable water systems and hence was commonly used in the past both in water distribution systems and household plumbing components. 

Legacy lead components are still in use in our drinking water and plumbing systems, impacting water quality and threatening public health. This will continue until they are removed or eliminated from directly contacting our drinking water.

The tool kit for reducing health risks from lead in drinking water is well understood and achievable but only if lead exposure reduction programs become a priority for government and are adequately resourced under a coordinated, comprehensive, and mandatory framework. Under the current provincial framework, the lead issue lives on in many Ontario municipalities, as do the health risks to many of our water consumers.

Given the lead issue presents significant financial, resourcing, and public communication challenges, OMWA is calling on the provincial government to create a Lead Elimination Strategy. Successfully eliminating lead from Ontario water supplies will require a coordinated, collaborative approach led by the province and supported by engaged industry stakeholders.

The lead document will be available on Friday, September 23rd, 2022 at www.omwa.org .

SOURCE Ontario Municipal Water Association

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