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Council rejects proposal to provide free lead filters

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Sarnia will continue to provide free filters to any home or business in which testing has confirmed high lead levels in tap water.

But council has rejected as too expensive a push by Coun. Margaret Bird to provide free filters to everyone in the city’s “lead zone” prior to testing.

Doing that would cost $550,000 the first year and up to $850,000 overall, a staff report states.

So far, about 2,000 of the 8,000 homes and businesses built before the 1960s in the city’s older part have been tested. The “lead zone” is roughly bounded by Murphy Road, Highway 402, the St. Clair River and St. Andrew Street, to the south.

Forty properties were confirmed with lead above the Ontario drinking water standard, and only two decided to participate in the filter program, staff said.

The next round of testing resumes in May.

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