Lead testing in municipal water systems

Nov 7 2019

In light of recent media reports of lead testing in other municipal water systems in BC, Bowen Island Municipality will be conducting spot testing of municipal water distribution systems in the coming weeks.

Bowen Island Municipality inherited its water systems when it incorporated in 1999 from the Water Improvement Districts of the day.  Unfortunately, infrastructure records provided were not complete therefore the municipality does not have a clear inventory of piping used for individual service connections, where the lead concern typically occurs.  We are confident that the public water systems - the portion of the system Bowen Island Municipality is responsible for - are not a lead leaching risk, however as an added precaution will be spot testing in the coming weeks to be sure.  Bowen Island Municipality does regularly test its raw water supplies (source water) in accordance with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) requirements and lead has consistently been below drinking water guideline limits.   

Currently, the municipality does not have a program for testing, or funding the testing, of private water systems.  However, Bowen Island is currently working with VCH to further evaluate the potential risks in Bowen Island’s water systems and to provide its residents with resource material and guidance on how to address any concerns they may have.

Protecting yourself from Lead in Drinking Water - Vancouver Coastal Health