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Getting the Lead Out

What Happened

Ms. B was referred to our office by her Councillor after contacting them regarding an issue with Toronto Water. The City had a program that replaced the service from the water main up to the homeowner’s property line at no charge if the lead concentration is more than 10 parts per billion. Ms. B contacted Toronto Water in December 2007 to have her water tested and was told that she did not qualify for the upgrade. However, City staff left her a voice message saying she would be placed on a list to have her water service upgraded in a year. In 2009, when Ms. B called about her status, she was told there was no record of her call, and that in fact she would not get her water service upgraded.

What We Did

We contacted Toronto Water to see what could be done. When City staff heard Ms. B’s 2007 voicemail, they explained that, due to the high volume of requests, the City had subsequently changed its policy and no longer provided upgrades for homes below the threshold.

The Result

We persuaded the City to replace Ms. B’s water pipe in light of its original undertaking.