The public portion of the service line runs from the watermain in the street to the shut-off valve near the property line and is the responsibility of Halifax Water.
The private portion of the service line runs from the property line into the home and is the responsibility of the homeowner.
Halifax Water replaces public lead service lines in conjunction with watermain infrastructure upgrades or when a household has replaced the private portion of their service line.
How do I replace my lead service line?
1. Find a contractor
If you are ready to have your private portion of the service line replaced but the public portion has not been replaced yet, you can hire one of the following contractors to do both at the same time:
- Atlantic Road Construction and Paving (ARCP): 902.404.8547
- G&R Kelly: 902.835.3125
- Sackville Trenching: 902.865.8335
The contractors listed above are the only contractors who have permission to replace public portions of the service line.
You may also hire any qualified contractor to replace the private portion. Once your private lead service line has been replaced by your contractor it must be inspected by Halifax Water staff. Once inspection has been passed, Halifax Water will begin the process of scheduling the public portion for replacement.
2. Obtain a permit
Regardless of which option you choose for hiring a contractor, you are required to fill out and submit a New Services and Renewal Application [PDF] to Halifax Water.
Ensuring you have the proper applications and permits in place helps protect you and your property.
3. Schedule an inspection
All service line replacements must be inspected and approved by Halifax Water. Inspections are free of charge.
Inspections must be done prior to covering the new line (backfilling). To avoid delays, it is recommended that you contact Halifax Water at 902.490.4820 once you have confirmed the date of the service renewal with your contractor.
How do I apply for the 25% rebate for my lead service line?
Halifax Water now offers a rebate program for homeowners to help make lead line renewal more accessible.
In order to be eligible for the rebate you must meet all of the following criteria:
- Applied for your permit after 9:00 am on August 22, 2017; and
- Had a Private Lead Service Lateral prior to this renewal; and
- Had an inspection of the new lateral completed by Halifax Water prior to infill; and
- Provide an invoice attached from the contractor; and
- Provide a completed Rebate Application Form [PDF].
The rebate is calculated based on the homeowners cost for renewal. Halifax Water offers a rebate of 25% of the renewal cost up to a reimbursement cap of $2 500.
The homeowner is responsible for the payment of the bill owed to the contractor in full. The rebate will be given by check to the homeowner once we have received confirmation that the final inspection has been completed, and a completed Rebate Application Form [PDF] and invoice has been received.
Lead Service Line Replacement Sampling Program
After a lead service line replacement, you may see an increase in lead levels in your water. This is a result of pipes being disturbed during construction.
Anyone who has had a portion of, or their entire service line replaced, should participate in a comprehensive sampling program coordinated between Halifax Water and Dalhousie University. This program monitors lead levels prior to and after a lead service line replacement. Samples are taken at 72 hours and at 1, 3, and 6 months.
If you are interested in participating in this program, contact Halifax Water several days prior to your replacement at email@example.com or 902.292.2437.
How can I minimize lead exposure following a lead service line replacement or repair?
To help minimize lead exposure following a lead service line replacement or repair, Halifax Water recommends households practice the following measures:
1. Immediately after construction
Flush your plumbing system for 60 minutes by opening your cold water taps and letting them run, one at a time. Start in the basement and work up towards the top level in your home. This will help remove any lead particles or sediment dislodged during construction.
Do not open hot water faucets until the plumbing system is completely flushed.
After flushing, remove and clean all faucet aerators. Lead particles and sediment can build up in the screen.
2. For 30 days after construction
Each day, flush your plumbing by opening at least one cold water faucet for 10 minutes. Flushing can also be achieved by running appliances such as your dishwasher or washing machine.
After flushing, remove and clean faucet aerators.
3. For six months after construction
Use cold tap water for cooking and drinking. Hot tap water can cause a greater release of lead from plumbing. Boiling water does not remove lead.
If water has not been used for more than six hours (i.e., overnight or during work hours), flush the cold water tap for five minutes prior to drinking and cooking.
Periodically remove and clean all faucet aerators.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have children under the age of six, it is recommended that you use a household water filter that is certified to remove lead from drinking water at the tap. Please ensure the filtration device is certified to NSF 53 international standards for the removal of lead.