Residents of a part of Arrow Heights are asking for a new water line, saying their water is rusty and doesn’t meet drinking water guidelines.
In a letter to council, residents of Beruschi and Pratico Roads say they’ve been seeing “yellow water, staining of sinks and bowls, unpleasant odour and taste, and a reduction in water pressure.”
They say a water quality test at one home revealed iron content more than three times higher than the recommended level of 0.3 milligrams per litre that is outlined in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Standards.
They believe their 50-year-old galvanized iron pipe is the culprit.
“We understand that galvanized iron pipes have a service life of 50 years,” states the letter, which is signed by 10 people. “This pipe is over 50 years old and the excessive iron in our drinking water is caused by the internal rusting of this galvanized pipe. We are effectively drinking rusty water. Should a rupture of the pipe occur there would be unnecessary liability to the city, costs to the taxpayers, as well as the potential to cause flooding of our homes.”
They asked council to include the waterline upgrade in the city’s 2017 budget.
Council responded by asking staff to prepare a report on the issue. Mayor Mark McKee said he wanted to see some options. “We have to be careful of the implications of what this is. We could be getting hundreds of requests like this,” he said.
Allan Chabot, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer, says the city takes concerns about water quality seriously, but added it could be more of an aesthetic concern than a health concern.
“We were going to undertake some water quality tests from the residents in that neighbourhood and from others as a cross reference point,” he said. “We’ll look into the age of the lines and the availability of alternatives.”
While water with high levels of iron can stain laundry and sinks, the Canadian drinking water guidelinesv states, “no evidence exists of dietary iron toxicity in the general population.”