Most homes in Winnipeg don’t have lead pipes – 89% of the people reading this article are, statistically, good to go. That said, if you found this article from a Google search about lead pipes, then you’re probably worried that you might have them. We’re going to lead (not lead) this article off with some resources for finding out whether or not you have lead pipes, then we’re going to tell you what to do if your pipes are, in fact, lead. One thing we will say right off the bat – if you have lead pipes, you will want to do something about that. Lead is a neurotoxin which means it can have negative effects on your brain and nervous system, and children are particularly susceptible – scary stuff!
Do You Have Lead Pipes?
The City of Winnipeg has conveniently provided us with a map of the locations where houses might have lead pipes. Unsurprisingly, most of these homes are near the city’s centre or in the north end, the oldest parts of Winnipeg. The city has also provided pictures of lead pipes and copper pipes so you can distinguish between the two. You can also test to see if the pipes are lead. Firstly, take a coin and scratch your water pipe; if it’s shiny and grey, it may be lead. Secondly, try to stick a magnet to it and if the magnet doesn’t stick, it’s lead. You can also contact 311 to find out whether or not the City of Winnipeg has a record of your home having lead pipes.
Getting the Lead Out
There are a couple of different solutions for removing lead from your drinking water. The simplest of these is probably to use a filtration system. Now, we’re not talking about getting a water pitcher that filters for you; more often than not, these don’t actually filter out lead. Instead, you’d need a solid carbon block filtration system. These are pretty effective at clearing out lead; the only trick is, you’ll need one on every faucet of your home that you might drink water from. That can get pretty pricey and what’s more, you’d need to replace these filters regularly.
The second solution, of course, is to replace your lead pipes with copper pipes. The upfront cost of this process is quite a bit higher than the cost of water filters, but it comes with its own set of advantages. Firstly, you won’t have to buy new filters regularly. Winnipeg’s water supply is lead-free, so once your home’s pipes have been replaced, you’ll be good to go. The second advantage is that it will increase your home’s resale value – yes, you’re paying more upfront costs, but it makes your property more attractive to prospective buyers, so you can more than recoup those costs in the end. Here at Clean Line, we provide residential plumbing in Winnipeg and that means if you want your lead pipes replaced, you can give us a call. We’ll give you a precise estimate, including the cost and timeframe, and you’ll be able to rest easy, knowing there’s no lead in your water.