Tags: Building Strong Communities , Investing in Alberta’s Future , Protecting the Environment , Providing Leadership & Accountability , Supporting Families

Posted on Nov 5, 2019

NDP call for provincial review of unsafe drinking water

Alberta’s NDP Caucus is calling on the UCP government to immediately conduct a review after unsafe levels of lead were found in drinking water across the province.

In Edmonton, three out of every 10 test results exceeded the federal guideline for lead in drinking water, with some results being as high as 120 times the limit. In Calgary, some tests reported levels of lead that were nearly four times the federally accepted limit. 

“The results were shocking,” said Marlin Schmidt, NDP Critic for Environment and Parks. “To know that Albertans have been exposed to such high levels of lead is incredibly troubling. The UCP need to commit to launching a provincial review into this issue immediately.”

In the investigative report by several media outlets, it was found that Alberta Environment and Parks never requested the data from EPCOR, and EPCOR has never shared it with them. The same news report found that the cost of replacing all lead service lines in Edmonton would be $14 million dollars. In Calgary, it is estimated to cost $11 million to replace the contaminated pipes.

To make matters worse, the news report found that lead plumbing fixtures are still on sale in Edmonton meaning that new home buyers are potentially exposed to toxic lead. 

“The UCP need to step up and do the right thing. For a fraction of their $4.7 billion handout to big corporations, including EPCOR, they could replace all the contaminated pipes,” said Schmidt. “The UCP need to order the utilities to replace these lines or do it themselves. And they need to take immediate action by banning plumbing fixtures containing lead. If not, they need to explain to Albertans what they’re afraid of.”