Drinking Water

Lead Pipes

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 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.

Learn other things to do to protect your health if you have lead pipes.

Lead Mitigation Strategy Overview

Lead Testing for Residents

If you live in a home built before the mid-1950s, you may have lead pipes. Get the facts on how and when to conduct a lead water test.  

Corrosion Control

Mandated by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, the City of Toronto is implementing a Corrosion Control Plan to reduce the levels of lead in drinking water.

Priority Lead Water Service Replacement Program

If your home was built before the mid-1950s, you may have lead pipes and are encouraged to replace them as the best way to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water. Should you decide to replace the pipes in your home, you can apply to have the City replace its side of the pipe on a priority basis. Find out more.

Capital Water Service Replacement Program

Each year, the City will replace the City-owned portion of 3,000 substandard drinking water service pipes. Many of these will be lead. Learn more about our plans. 

Faucet Filter Program

A certified filter is an effective temporary solution to remove lead in tap water. See if you are eligible for a filter rebate.