Lead in Drinking Water

Lead can leach into water from pipes, solder, brass fixtures and faucets

Drinking water is essentially lead-free in Halifax Water’s distribution system prior to entering your private water service line.

Lead enters water through contact with the service line (the lateral/pipe from the water main in the street to a customer’s home) and interior household plumbing. Lead can leach into water from pipes, solder, brass fixtures, faucets, and fittings. This happens through corrosion, when metal dissolves or wears away due to a chemical reaction between water and water infrastructure.

Scroll down to learn about lead and water quality, how to identify a lead service, how to replace a lead service, replacement assistance programs and Halifax Water research and monitoring initiatives.

Proposed Enhancements to Halifax Water's Lead Service Line Replacement Program

The Halifax Water Board has approved a proposal to replace all lead service lines at utility expense. However, Halifax Water will not have the authority to implement such a program until it is approved by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. Halifax Water does not anticipate a decision from the NSUARB before September of 2020. If approval is received, the exact nature of the approved program and the effective date are within the discretion of the NSUARB. Based on past experience, it is unlikely that any approval effective date will be retroactive.

The enhanced program is designed to be executed over a twenty-year period. Scheduling of lead service line replacements over the life of the program will be determined in a manner that both addresses public health to the highest degree possible while maximizing Halifax Water's ability to replace as many lead service lines as possible in a given season. For these reasons, Halifax Water has proposed to proceed on a street by street basis in coordination with HRM's paving program, and other capital programs.

Existing Lead Service Line Boundary

The first step in addressing sources of lead in a home is to identify any potential sources.  To assist customer’s in determining if their home was built in an area where lead service lines may have been installed, the interactive map below can be used to search a civic address.

  • If your home is within the area shown on the map and was built before 1960, then your home may have a lead service line.
  • If your home is not within the area shown on the map, then it is very unlikely your home has a lead service line, regardless of the age of the property.

You can view the Lead Service Line Boundary map in a new browser window.

Halifax Water employee replacing a lead pipe

How to Replace a Lead Service Line

Replacing lead pipes is the first step in removing lead from your drinking water and we would encourage you to consider replacing lead pipes and any associated plumbing fittings (including solder joints or valves) that may contain lead.

Learn More information about How to Replace a Lead Service Line
Water Testing in a Lab

Lead Research & Monitoring Programs

Halifax Water has several lead sampling and monitoring programs available to residential customers who qualify. If you would like to participate in any of the following programs, or if you have questions, please call our Customer Care Centre at 902-420-9287.

Learn More information about Lead Research & Monitoring Programs
Lead Line Replacement Assistance Programs

On August 22, 2017 the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board released a decision approving Halifax Water's enhanced lead service line repair and replacement program. The decision is a significant step forward in Halifax Water’s on-going effort to replace lead service lines (the lateral/pipe from the water main in the street to a customer’s home).

This new program includes two funding components, as the financial aspect is often the biggest barrier to homeowners when they’re looking to replace their private lead service line.