1. Find a contractor
If you are ready to have your private portion of the service line replaced, you can hire any qualified contractor to do the work. If the public (Halifax Water) portion has not been replaced, you can hire one of the following contractors to do both at the same time:
- C.R. Falkenham Backhoe Service Ltd.: 902.456.0277
- G&R Kelly: 902.835.3125
- Sackville Trenching: 902.865.8335
The contractors listed above are the only permitted contractors to replace the public portion of a service line. You may choose to use another qualified, insured contractor to complete your private lead service line replacement. If you choose to use a contractor other than those listed above, and the public portion of the service line is composed of lead, Halifax Water will replace the public portion of the service line following your private replacement. Halifax Water always recommends getting multiple quotes from contractors to ensure you are having the work done at a reasonable cost.
2. If applying for The Lateral Loan, please submit application and contractor quote before obtaining a permit.
3. Obtain a permit
Regardless of which contractor you choose to facilitate your private lead service line replacement (renewal), 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, and is required for all service line replacements (renewals) or other work being done to your service line on your property.
4. Schedule an inspection
All service line replacements must be inspected and approved by Halifax Water. Inspection for lead service line replacements 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 902.420.9287 once you have confirmed the date of the service replacement (renewal) with your contractor.
5. Minimize lead exposure following a lead service line replacement
Halifax Water recommends households adhere to the following timeline and flushing instructions to help reduce exposure to lead in drinking water following a lead service line replacement:
I. 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. The average cost of flushing a home using this method will be less than $2.
Remove and clean aerators and any faucet attachments (such as filters) from any taps you are flushing before you start the flushing process. This will help remove any lead particles or sediment dislodged during construction. An aerator is the small attachment found at the end of most taps, they help to increase water pressure at the tap while also helping to conserve water. Aerators can generally be removed by gently twisting counterclockwise.
Do not open hot water faucets until the plumbing system is completely flushed.
II. For 30 days after construction
Each day, flush your plumbing by removing and cleaning the aerator or any faucet attachments (such as filters) and 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, flushing toilets, taking showers, and watering gardens. If you choose to flush this way you should also flush the tap you use for drinking and cooking for a few minutes prior to use. Water used for this amount of flushing will cost around $0.08.
III. 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 after removing the aerator or any faucet attachments (such as filters) for five minutes prior to drinking and cooking.
Periodically remove and clean all faucet aerators/screens as lead particles and sediment can build up in the screen.
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 drinking water and is also certified for the removal of lead. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) maintains a comprehensive list of NSF 53 certified products.
6. Apply for the Lead Line Rebate
Link: Learn more about financial assistance programs including the Lead Line Rebate and The Lateral Loan.
If you have applied for The Lateral Loan, as per Step 7 of The Lateral Loan Process, the Lead Line Rebate application must be submitted to Halifax Water along with the final invoice for the private lateral replacement.