Before the mid-1950s, the water service pipe that delivers water from the street into each residential home was commonly made of lead, a soft metal that can affect health and has the most impact on the fetus and children under six years old. Lead was also used to solder pipes together before 1990, and can be found in leaded-brass fixtures, such as faucets and valves. While passing through these pipes and fixtures, lead can be added to drinking water.
In 2011, Toronto City Council approved the Lead in Drinking Water Mitigation Strategy, a multi-pronged approach aimed at minimizing the occurrence of lead in tap water. Components of this strategy with links to learn more can be found below.
Toronto Public Health strongly encourages residents in older homes with lead pipes to replace their pipes as the best way to reduce their exposure to lead in drinking water and to protect their family's health.