Drinking Water

Capital Water Service Replacement Program

Lead pipe replacementThe Capital Water Service Replacement Program aims to replace the City-owned portion of 3,000 substandard water service pipes during planned construction projects such as road, sewer or watermain reconstruction, and watermain structural lining.  

Pipes may be considered substandard if they are leaking or broken, deemed too small, servicing more than one home (also called 'double-service'), or made of lead or galvanized steel.   

If the City's portion of the pipe is found to be made of lead, the City will alert the homeowner through a series of notices prior to replacement.  

Homeowners are responsible for the private portion of the pipe that runs from their property line into their home (see the diagram below), and are strongly encouraged to replace their side too, in order to reduce health effects from exposure to lead in drinking water.

If your street is not on the above Capital Water Service Replacement list, and you decide to replace the lead pipes servicing your home, you can apply to have the City replace its side at no cost to you. Learn more about our Priority Water Service Replacement Program.

Replacing a water pipe

The pipe delivering water to each residence in the City can be classified into two portions: the section of the pipe running from the watermain to the property line is owned and maintained by the City; the section of the pipe running from the property line into the house is the responsibility of the homeowner.

Illustration of where responsibility lies

In homes built prior to the mid-1950s, pipe may have been constructed from lead. Replacing the City portion of the pipe alone cannot fully address concerns about lead in the drinking water. The City of Toronto encourages homeowners to replace the private side of lead pipe before or after the City-owned portion is being replaced, or at the same time if the same City contractor is being hired by homeowners. Replacing the entire water pipe is the best way to ensure your drinking water does not come into contact with lead.

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