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Town of Carleton Place Drinking Water

Town of Carleton Place Drinking Water


Drinking water for the Town of Carleton Place comes from the Mississippi River. The water is treated and then delivered to homes and businesses through a system of underground water distribution pipes.  The Town of Carleton Place has a long history of maintaining and upgrading our underground infrastructure with much of our pipes having been replaced with ductile iron or PVC piping.  The average age in 2019 for municipal underground infrastructure in Carleton Place is approximately 25 years. 

As a property owner, what am I responsible for regarding my water service?

Residential Property owners are responsible for the portion of their water service that is under their private property.

The Town of Carleton Place is responsible for the portion of the water service line from the watermain to the property line.

Lead in Municipal Drinking Water

Although it is rare in Carleton Place, there may be some older homes built in or before the mid-1950s which might have lead service connections or internal plumbing.  Homes built before the 1990s might have plumbing containing brass fittings containing lead, or lead solder used to connect copper pipes.

Exposure to lead has decreased significantly due to its reduction or removal from construction materials, gasoline, paint and solder, as well as changes to the Ontario Building Code. Today, most exposure to lead is from food, dirt and dust. The amount of lead exposure from drinking water is very low compared to all other sources.

Ontario Drinking Water Standards

In 2007 the province of Ontario, amended O. Reg. 170 (Schedule 15.1) that required municipal drinking water systems to begin sampling for lead in the plumbing of private residences and non-residential buildings in addition to lead sampling in the distribution system. 

The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has identified through the Drinking Water Quality Standard that the threshold for lead is 10 micrograms/litre. This level was set to protect the most "at risk" populations, pregnant women and small children. Historical test data indicates that the potential for lead in private plumbing in Carleton Place drinking water is very low. The Town of Carleton Place undertook comprehensive lead testing from 2009 to 2010. 

Based on the quality of the results achieved during the required standard sampling, the Carleton Place Drinking Water System became eligible for reduced sampling and, then based on the quality of those results are now under the exemption from having to collect plumbing samples (sampling is only conducted in the distribution system). The results of the testing during this time concluded the Town of Carleton Place could reduce its sampling period to every three years.  Recent lead sampling tests with results are as follows in each of 2016 and 2019:



Minimum Lead Results micrograms/L

Maximum Lead Results micrograms /L








A fact sheet on the requirements for lead sampling, reduced sampling and eligibility for an exemption from sampling can be found on the Ministry’s website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/community-sampling-and-testing-lead-standard-and-reduced-sampling-and-eligibility-exemption.

Identifying Lead Service Line or Lead Plumbing

To determine if you have a lead service line or lead plumbing, residents may choose to hire a licensed plumber to inspect the private service line and/or indoor plumbing.

If you are unsure of the type of plumbing in your home, scratch the surface of the pipe where your service enters your home with sandpaper to expose the metal.

    • If the pipe is dull grey and easily scratched by a hard object, it is likely lead.
    • If it is not easily scratched, it is likely galvanized iron.
    • If it is red-brown in colour, it is likely copper.

If You Find Lead in Lead Service Line or Internal Plumbing

If you suspect or know that your water has lead levels greater than 10 micrograms/litre, the Town recommends that property owners do the following:

  • Replace the private portion of the lead service line and/or private plumbing.
  • For water sitting in pipes for 6 hours or more, run the cold water tap at a medium flow rate for 5 minutes or until the water is cold to the touch. Flushing will replenish the pipes with fresh, municipal drinking water.

Should you have further concerns please contact the

Lanark, Leeds, Grenville Health Unit (613) 283-2740.


Town Child Care Centre Lead Results

The Town’s Child Care Centres are required to comply with the rules for lead testing outlined in Ontario Regulation 243/07 under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002.  Historically, the water testing results have not exceeded provincial regulatory limits of 10 ppb.

The recent article in the Globe and Mail indicated 1 sample out of 34 taken from December 2, 2017 with a lead result of 6.4 ppb.  This sample is within the Provincial limits of 10 ppb which the Child Care Centre is required to meet.   Should the Province decide to change its requirements to Heath Canada’s limit of 5 ppb, the Town will ensure the necessary changes to its systems are undertaken to ensure compliance with the new limits.