The City of Montreal announced it will distribute 15,000 water filters to vulnerable residents who have lead water pipes in their homes.
The announcement came on Monday, with the Plante administration announcing it would both distribute the water filter pitchers as well as filter replacements to last up to 12 months, with the option to renew the supply afterwards.
“Montreal is concerned about the health and well-being of its citizens and is sensitive to the problem of lead in the water,” said Sylvain Ouellet, responsible for water, road network infrastructure and the Electric Services Commission in Montreal.
After the alarming lead levels in Quebec’s drinking water were reported in the fall of 2019, the city said it was committed to eliminate all lead water pipes by 2030.
Laurence Houde-Roy, City of Montreal spokesperson, said the filters will be distributed as of July, and residents living in a building with lead contamination in the water can call 311 to request their filter. Delivery will be taken care of by the city’s water department.
The city’s initiative is in collaboration with Zero Technologies LLC, which is supplying the filtration products.
Low-income residents, residents with children under five years old and pregnant women are encouraged to get in contact with 311 to place their order.
Health Canada describes lead as a “cumulative general poison,” with developing fetuses, infants, toddlers and children being the most susceptible to its health effects.
These effects include behavioural problems or a loss in IQ for children and cardiovascular and kidney problems in adults.
— With files from Global News’ Dan Spector