Lead Sampling Program

Be Part of Steinbach's Lead Sampling Program

Health Canada has updated the national guideline for lead in drinking water. In compliance with provincial guidelines (Office of Drinking Water), the City of Steinbach will complete annual water sampling for lead at various residential and commercial properties across the city. 

The City of Steinbach is currently looking for residents to volunteer their homes to be part of the water sampling process. Participation requires a one-time, 1-litre sample to be collected by the resident directly from a drinking water tap on their premises. Sampling will take place on Tuesdays, between 8 a.m. to Noon, between June and October. 

A city waterworks staff member will arrive at your property, provide you with a sample container and instructions, and send the sample to an independent laboratory for testing. The entire sampling process is expected to take less than 15 minutes. If a property is chosen to be sampled, test results will be shared directly with the resident (and landlord, if applicable) by email, along with any recommended course of action.

If you live in the City of Steinbach and are interested in being part of the Drinking Water Sampling Program, please complete the form on this page. Full completion of the form is required to be considered for the program. Submission of form does not guarantee participation in the program. However, interested residents with eligible properties will be contacted, and all submissions will be kept on file so residents may be contacted to participate in future years. All information collected is for the sole purpose of the City of Steinbach’s Water Sampling Program, is confidential, and will not be shared outside of the requirements of this program.  

The sampling program is only open to residential properties or home daycare properties at this time. 

To learn more and apply to be part of the program, please email water@steinbach.ca or call 204-346-6211.

Program Prioritization
The use of lead in plumbing was prohibited in 1990 in the province of Manitoba. City records indicate that no lead components were used in the city's water distribution system. However, lead plumbing fixtures can be found in the plumbing of individual properties. The presence of lead is more likely in older homes and buildings located in older neighbourhoods. For this reason, sampling priority will be based on location and age of properties. View a map that highlights areas of priority by clicking the button below or in the Resources section below. 

City of Steinbach Lead at the Tap Testing Priorities Map

Please Note:

  • There is no cost to property owners whose homes are selected to participate in the program. 
  • Only properties connected to the City of Steinbach’s water distribution system will be considered for this sampling program. Properties operating with a private well are not eligible.
  • Only property owners can request to participate in program. 
  • The City of Steinbach will not be completing sampling outside of this program. Property owners who are not chosen to participate, but still wish to have their drinking water tested can refer to list of laboratories that offer testing services. Please contact individual laboratories directly for testing costs and sampling instructions. 

Lead in Drinking Water Information Resources

Apply below to be considered for program.

Participation in this program is completely voluntary. All information collected is for the sole purpose of the City of Steinbach’s Water Sampling Program, is confidential, and will not be shared outside of the requirements of this program. 



Lead in Drinking Water

What is lead? 
Lead is a soft, bluish-grey metal that has many industrial uses and can be found naturally in the environment. Tap water is generally not the most significant source of exposure to lead, however, drinking water can contribute to a person’s overall lead exposure. Trace amounts can also be found in air, soil, household dust, food, and various consumer products.

Why is lead a health concern?
Exposure to high levels of lead can cause a variety of health and developmental issues. Lead exposure has the greatest impact to infants, young children, and pregnant women. 
How does lead get in drinking water?
Lead is usually found in drinking water as a result of leaching from distribution and plumbing system components. Lead is no longer used in service lines and fittings, so its presence is more likely in the plumbing of older homes and buildings. Lead can enter drinking water when a chemical reaction occurs in plumbing materials that contain lead (built prior to 1990). This process is known as corrosion – the dissolving and wearing away of metal from pipes and fixtures. 

Is there lead in Steinbach's water?
There are no lead structures in the City of Steinbach’s water distribution system. Any lead detected in tap water will be the result of leaching lead plumbing fixtures located in older properties. 
What is the City of Steinbach doing about lead?
In addition to implementing an annual water sampling program, the City of Steinbach has been very proactive in managing its water supply and testing and monitoring regularly for all contaminants, including lead. Specific to lead:
  • Steinbach’s water distribution system has never had any lead service piping or components
  • Steinbach has a natural ground water source; lead in ground water is minimal; 
  • All water services installations in the city have been completed after lead was prohibited in plumbing components;
  • Fluctuating PH levels in water can influence the rate of leaching of lead; Steinbach’s water PH levels change minimally, and have always stayed within the optimal zone to minimize lead leaching characteristics;
  • The injection of orthophosphate into water can assist with lead leachate by creating a protective barrier on pipe walls. Steinbach adopted corrosion control measures as part of its water treatment process and has been injecting orthophosphate into its water distribution system since 1988. This represents 30 years of protective barrier in the system.

How do I check for lead pipes?
A licensed plumber is the best way to determine if your plumbing has lead in it. They will likely need to enter your home to make a visual inspection of your pipes and plumbing system.
What if I have lead pipes?
Flush your pipes
If it has been a few hours since you have used water, run a tap until the water is very cold, and then let it run for at least one more minute. This will pull fresh water from the watermain into the pipes.
Use cold water for cooking and drinking
Lead in pipes moves more readily into hot water than into cold water. Cold water is less likely to contain lead, even after flushing the pipes.
Don't drink discoloured water
Avoid drinking discoloured water as it may contain temporarily elevated levels of lead or other contaminants.
Purchase a water filter
Filters should be NSF-certified. To be effective, filters and cartridges should be maintained and replaced as per the manufacturer. 
Replace lead plumbing
Be sure to contact a licensed plumber to understand your options and cost.