Each year, the City replaces approximately 3,000 substandard water service pipes during planned capital construction projects, such as road, sewer and watermain work. Pipes are considered substandard if they are:

  • leaking or broken
  • deemed smaller than standard size
  • servicing more than one home (also called ‘double-service’)
  • made of lead or galvanized steel

The City replaces the City-owned portion of the pipe (from the watermain to the property line) including replacing lead or galvanized steel with copper pipes during scheduled capital construction. Homeowners are responsible for replacing the private portion that runs from the property line into the home.

If you live in a home built before the mid-1950s, it strongly recommended that you replace the private portion of the pipe to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water.

A licensed plumber is the best way to determine if your water service pipe is lead. They will likely need to enter your basement to make a visual inspection of the pipe.

You can also contact 311 to submit a service request to have staff check City records. This process may take up to 30 business days.

The City also offers free lead testing to help determine if you have lead in your water.

In 2011, Toronto City Council approved the Lead in Drinking Water Mitigation Strategy, a multi-pronged approach aimed at protecting public health by reducing lead in drinking water. Read the latest annual report on the City’s Lead in Drinking Water Mitigation Strategy.