CWWA’s position statements are developed in consultation with the CWWA Board of Directors and members of CWWA technical committees. They are developed in response to a specific issue or legislative direction.

2018 Advocacy

2017 Advocacy

2017 Advocacy

2016 Advocacy

2015 Advocacy

2019 Advocacy

Lead in Drinking Water

Health Canada today published revised guidelines concerning lead (Pb) in Canadian drinking water.  The most significant change is the reduction of the Maximum Allowable Concentration (MAC) of lead in drinking water from 0.01 mg/L to just 0.005 mg/L.

CWWA and our members, the municipal water professionals in Canada, fully support these new, science-based targets and support all efforts to one day eliminate all lead from drinking water.  But we all need to recognize that these are aggressive targets that cannot be achieved overnight.  There are significant challenges, mostly outside of municipal authority to address.  So this will require a combined effort from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments as well as individual property owners to achieve these targets.

Our greatest concern is how quickly these Guidelines might be implemented in each province and territory and how this might affect the public’s confidence in their drinking water.  We need all Canadians to understand that nothing has changed overnight regarding the safety of their water.  Rather, we have agreed upon even better targets.  We need the public to understand that safe drinking water leaves the treatment plant lead-free and is distributed through water mains down each street lead-free.  Drinking water only comes into contact with lead when it reaches the service line from the water main to an individual property and/or in the plumbing and fixtures within individual homes and buildings.  As the use of lead service lines was phased out in the 1960’s, this only affects older homes in older neighbourhoods.

So the bulk of our lead issue lies on or within private property, outside of the road allowance and municipal authority.  Aside from the significant cost and disruption to replace lead service lines, our greatest challenge is to engage the individual property owners to cooperate with municipal utilities to replace lead service lines and to address any other plumbing within their building.

To support our members in speaking about these Guidelines to their Council, their customers or the media, CWWA has prepared a Fact Sheet and Speaking Notes.  The Fact Sheet provides general details about Lead and the Guidelines, but more detail can be attained from Health Canada or your local public health authority. The Speaking Notes outline our key points we need to make as municipal water professionals.  We encourage members to use these speaking notes and to share these tools with their Communications staff and municipal Council.

CWWA Lead Fact Sheet

On March 8, 2019, Health Canada released revised guidelines, significantly reducing the maximum allowable concentration of lead in drinking water. While our municipal water sector fully supports these new targets, we need to identify the challenges inherent in moving to these new targets while maintain full public confidence in the safety of their drinking water. 

Fact Sheet on Lead

Speaking Notes on Lead in Drinking Water

New Guidelines:
On March 8, 2019, Health Canada released revised guidelines, significantly reducing the maximum allowable concentration of lead in drinking water. 

Read More on Speaking Notes on Lead

2018 Advocacy

Submission on proposed changes to the NPRI reporting for releases to water

The Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) is the national voice of the water and wastewater sector. The Association’s primary role is to monitor federal legislation and national policies for relevance and impact on the municipal water and wastewater sector and advocate on its behalf.

CWWA, as a member of NPRI’s Multi-Stakeholder Work Group has reviewed the proposed changes to how facilities report releases of pollutants to water. The Association and our members have several concerns with the proposed changes.

The first general change will be to develop an effluent volume-reporting threshold for releases to water. We note that the municipal wastewater sector already has an effluent threshold of 10,000 m3/day to determine reporting under the NPRI. This is working well for our sector, and we support the concept of expanding this requirement to other reporting sectors. We also note that the current reporting threshold is adequately capturing wastewater facilities, and if a lower threshold is proposed, we recommend that wastewater facilities should be exempt (ie: remain at the current reporting threshold).

Read More on Submission on proposed changes

Letter to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans - enforcement of Fisheries Act

2017 Advocacy

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CWWA submits comments on Health Canada's proposed Guideline for Lead in Drinking Water
CWWA submits comments on Health Caanada's proposed Guidelines for uranium and enteric viruses in drinkng water

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CWWA 2016 Budget Advocacy Report: Our Impact, Our Opportunity, Our Position
Letter to Minister of Infrastructure and Communities - CWWA positions on Infrastructure Renewal

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CWWA submission on Private member’s Motion M-69 Concerning Lead In Drinking Waterructure Renewal

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CWWA’s Board of Directors are reviewing all CWWA’s Policy Statements to update, and develop new more relevant statements.

Position Statements

CWWA’s Board of Directors are reviewing all CWWA’s Policy Statements to update, and develop new more relevant statements.

Issues Analysis Paper

CWWA is a non-profit national body representing the common interests of Canada’s public sector municipal water and wastewater services and their private sector suppliers and partners.

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