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City launches Water Service Identification Plan

Post Date:11/21/2019 8:41 AM

For Immediate Release
November 21, 2019

City launches Water Service Identification Plan 

SWIFT CURRENT, SK – The City of Swift Current will this week be commencing the initial phase of a multi-phased plan to identify water services – the connection of water pipe that connects the water supply from the City to the pipes inside of residential/commercial buildings – in City households and businesses. 

The full scope of the project is to identify, assess and take remedial action, if necessary, when residential and commercial buildings are discovered to have lead services supplying them with water. The City of Swift Current has engaged its staff to gather information and photographs that depict water services at their personal residences to help the City’s Infrastructure & Operations Division to quickly establish a bird’s eye view of water services in neighbourhoods around the community.

Mitch Minken, the City’s General Manager of Infrastructure & Operations, explains that “We have well over 200 employees at the City who cover a lot of territory in terms of where they live. This initial data set will help us very quickly identify any areas in the community where lead services may be present.”

Following staff engagement, the City will be directly contacting residents who may live or operate a business in a building that has lead services. The initial data collection from City staff will help pinpoint those locations more accurately, and identification of all community lead services will proceed from there.

Due to the fact that some water services were installed as long as 100 years ago, the City does not have adequate records that allow us to track what materials have been used beyond City water mains. With the assistance of City staff and the general public, Minken is confident that the City can gain a clear picture in a relatively short timeframe.

“This is a precautionary measure to ensure that the City- and privately-owned infrastructure that supplies us with water is adequate,” said Minken. “What we do know for a fact is that, over years of testing at our City’s Water Treatment Plant, no lead has been detected in Swift Current’s source water. In addition, we manage the pH levels in our treated water so that a natural barrier is created inside our pipe system that helps prevent lead and other elements from leaching off of the pipes and into the water.”

Lead services were no longer installed as part of City infrastructure or at residential and commercial buildings beginning approximately 50 to 60 years ago, giving the City a relatively large list of properties that can be automatically eliminated as possibly containing lead services. Largely, the focus of the project will be on residences and buildings that are at least 50 years old.

“The number one thing that people can do to protect themselves if they are concerned about lead in their drinking water is to install a water filtration system, using activated carbon filters which are certified for lead reduction,” said Minken.

These carbon filters, which are indicated as NSF-53 certified, must be replaced periodically in order to be effective and are available in a variety of systems from pitchers to tap mounts to under-the-counter filtration units. 

The City is committed to the safety and well-being of its citizens, and we will continue to update the public as this project moves forward. 

In addition, we are committed to answering any questions or concerns that citizens may have, and we encourage residents to email leadservices@swiftcurrent.ca or call Engineering Services at 306.778.2748 with any and all inquiries.

Additional information can be found at www.swiftcurrent.ca/leadservices

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For more information please contact:


Michael Boutilier
Communications & Stakeholder Relations Coordinator
City of Swift Current
m.boutilier@swiftcurrent.ca
306.741.0732

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