The Town of Ladysmith has increased the frequency of lead and heavy metal testing in the local water supply.
Recent reports about lead levels in community water across Canada sparked the change. The Town tested water for lead on a quarterly basis, and levels have consistently met or been better than safety standards set in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. On the week of November 11, the Town tested samples from all 10 water testing stations, and all samples are were well within safety standards.
In a press release, the Town communicated to residents that water delivered to individual property lines is safe for consumption; however it is possible that materials such as pipes, fittings or solders used within private homes and buildings could contain materials such as lead which may affect water quality.
Residents concerned about how to detect levels of lead in their own water can have their water tested at Island Health labs. There are two nearby Island Health labs, one in Nanaimo and one in Duncan. Sampling lead in pipes of fixtures contained within private properties or service lines is the responsibility of home owners.
The Town also regularly tests for other water quality factors such as turbidity, colour and temperature. On a monthly basis, tests are run that show total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon, total devolved solvents — as well as tests for chemicals like alkalinity, calcium, and bromide. Semi-annual tests are run for hardness, total metals, E Coli, and total coliforms.
A 2017 Town of Ladysmith water report shows water from Holland Lake, Stocking Lake, and the Chicken Ladder have low levels of total metals well within safety standards. There was no detectable fecal coliform bacteria per 100 ml, no detectable E Coli pet 100 ml, and at least 90 percent of samples had no detectable coliform bacteria per 100 ml, and no sample had more than 10 total coliform.