Sarnia Lead Reduction Program

The City of Sarnia’s drinking water is transported through the municipal watermain below the street, which then connects to smaller underground pipes that bring the drinking water into your home (also known as water service lines).

In certain parts of the City, these water service lines are made of lead which poses a threat to the vulnerable public (i.e. small children, pregnant women, women who are planning to become pregnant, as well as the elderly). Excessive exposure to lead can lead to health effects.

Free Lead Water Sampling Program

The City of Sarnia is conducting lead verification visits to homeowners who live in the Suspected Lead Zone to visually inspect in-home water services and to take a water sample from your tap. There is no cost for this visit. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all water samples will be collected from an outside tap and no in-home water service shall be performed. Homes within the suspected lead zone will receive a notice detailing this process and results will be sent after a free water sample collection.

Are you in the Suspected Lead Zone?

The map below indicates potential lead service areas in Sarnia.

The suspected lead zone is classified into the Primary Suspected Lead Zone and Secondary Suspected Lead Zone. The “Primary Zone” is bounded by Murphy Road and the St. Clair River (east to west) and Highway 402 to St. Andrew St (north to south). The Secondary Zone includes properties by Lakeshore Road, Exmouth St and London Line as shown on the map.

If your home is in the Lead Zone depicted on the map, call our office Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 pm to book your free verification visit!

Phone: 519-332-0330, extension 2232

Once you receive a notice requesting a sample for your property, a qualified City of Sarnia team will arrive at your home to collect the water sample from an outside tap. It is requested that all obstacles are removed before staff arrive. Since samples are collected at the outside tap it is not required for a homeowner/tenant to be home at the time of sampling.

NOTE: Even though the visible plumbing in your home doesn’t look like lead, the service lines underground may still be made of lead.

Filter Rebate Program

The City of Sarnia’s Lead Reduction Program is offering Water Filter Rebates to those who live/own a home serviced with lead service (see PDF labelled “Lead Reduction Filter Rebate Program” for more details).

Replacement Assistance Program

In order to assist homeowners to remove private lead service lines, the City launched a generous grant program in 2021. In this program, the City covers the full cost of replacing a lead water service line in private property with limited restoration costs and coordinates the work with an independent contractor on behalf of the property owners. The property owner is required to take care of any additional restoration work and costs. In the case of a combined lead service line, the contractor will remove the municipal lead service at the same time. The program is retroactive to benefit the homeowners who have proactively replaced lead lines after January 1, 2019 until November 30, 2023 (see PDF labelled “Lead Replacement Assistance Program” for more details).

2021 Program Summary

In 2021, the Lead Reduction Program was able to gain information on more than 95% of properties in the suspected lead zone through water sampling, historical data analysis and maintenance notes. It was also determined that less than 2% of these homes exceeded the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standard of 10 micrograms per liter. On average, the City is replacing 20-30 City side lead service lines yearly. Seven (7) private lead service replacements were completed under the replacement assistance program in 2021.

The goal for 2022 is to collect samples from the remaining properties and encourage eligible homeowners to participate and remove remaining lead service lines through the replacement assistance program.