Lead Services

Lead in Windsor's Water 

To learn more please select a question from the list below.

What is the regulated limit for lead in our drinking water system?

In Ontario, the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) for lead is 0.010 mg/L. (O.Reg 169/03

The Canadian guideline for lead in drinking water is 0.005 mg/L. 


What are the lead levels in the City of Windsor distribution system?

The City of Windsor continues to be well served with water that consistently exceeds the guidelines set by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Lead levels within the City's distribution system, samples are collected quarterly and have historically returned values less than 0.001 mg/l, much lower than the regulated level set by the Ministry. 


How can I tell if my service is of lead construction? 

If your house was constructed prior to 1948 there is a possibility that the service line from the watermain to your house was constructed from might be lead. 

To determine if your service is lead, locate your water meter (typically located in the basement) and inspect the pipe coming through the exterior wall or basement floor into the meter. If you lightly abrade the pipe, using sandpaper or a dull edged knife, and the metal scratches easily, leaving a metallic shiny surface, then there is a possibility that you have a lead service. To verify if the service is lead, pass a magnet over the surface of the pipe. If the magnet is NOT attracted to the pipe, then the service is likely made of lead.  If the magnet is attracted to the pipe, then the service is likely galvanized pipe. If the pipe is plastic or has the colour of a copper penny when abraded, then the service is also not lead. 


What is Windsor Utilities Commission doing about remaining lead services in the distribution system?

Windsor Utilities Commission also has an ongoing capital program that is aimed at replacing our underground infrastructure. While carrying out watermain replacement projects, whenever it is discovered that there are lead service lines conveying water from the watermain onto private property, these services are replaced from the watermain up to the property line. Additionally, the Windsor Utilities Commission will provide notice to the homeowner if a lead water service is encountered at the property line.  The homeowner is encouraged to have the lead service replaced at their own cost. 


What are the benefits of replacing a lead water service line on my property?


Community Lead Sampling

Information Bulletin

Amendments made by the Ministry of Environment, Parks and Conservation (MECP) to O. Reg. 170/03 under the Safe Drinking Water Act call for the implementation of an extended lead reduction strategy designed to safeguard the quality of Ontario’s drinking water.

As part of the lead reduction strategy, the Windsor Utilities Commission initiated its Corrosion Control program (phosphoric acid) on August 10, 2016. The Community Lead Sampling program is designed to monitor the effectiveness of the Corrosion Control program.

Community Lead Sampling
The program consists of:

  • Collecting samples from interior plumbing (a minimum of 60 single-family dwellings and 10 non-residences);
  • Collecting samples in the distribution system, in close proximity to the samples collected at dwellings and non-residences (a minimum of 20 samples). 

Windsor Utilities Commission is seeking candidates for lead sampling that are:

  • Identified as possibly having lead service pipes, due to elevated lead sample results, and;
  • Dwellings that have been monitored in the last 4 – 6 rounds of testing. 

Proposed Target Areas:

  • Locations tested previously. Residents within the proposed target areas will receive a participation letter. 

Please Note:

  • Testing is voluntary;
  • There is no cost to the customer/volunteer;
  • All information is confidential;
  • All sample collectors are certified operators, who are ENWIN Utilities Ltd. employees. 

Sampling Process
An ENWIN Utilities Ltd. staff member will arrange to visit your dwelling and collect two water samples. Due to COVID-19, two samples will be collected from an outside tap so that workers do not need to enter your home. These samples will then be sent to an accredited lab for lead analysis. The results will be shared with you, the MECP and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. 

Sampling Time Frame
Sampling is conducted twice a year, in the winter and summer.

For further information regarding regulations, testing procedures or the sampling program, contact: Monica Reid, Compliance Coordinator at 519-251-7300 ext. 341.

For further information on the Safe Drinking Water Act, please visit this link.

If you would like to participate in the Community Lead Sampling Program, please contact our Call Centre: 519-255-2727 and select Option 3.