Lead in Drinking Water Grant
Manitoba Environmental Industries Association (MEIA), with funding provided by the Manitoba government, is offering a Lead in Drinking Water Grant until March 31, 2024. The program offers schools and child care centres grant funding to test drinking water for lead and to address elevated lead test results. Click here to download the program details from this page.
Lead exposure has been associated with effects on intellectual development and behaviour of children, even at low levels. Effects on the developing brain are more significant for infants and young children. The main sources of lead in drinking water are older lead service lines (pre-1950) that connect buildings to the water main, premise plumbing systems with lead solder (pre-1989) and plumbing fixtures containing leaded components (pre-2013; dates are approximate).
In 2019, Health Canada lowered the national guideline for lead in drinking water from a maximum acceptable concentration of 0.01 milligrams per litre (mg/L) to 0.005 mg/L. Manitoba adopted this new guideline as a drinking water quality standard in 2020.
Who can apply?
- Publicly funded K-12 schools located in Manitoba
- Non-publicly funded independent K-12 schools located in Manitoba
- Licensed Child Care Centres (as identified by Manitoba government)
What do we fund?
Activities that address elevated lead test results to reduce children’s exposure to lead from drinking water. Examples include:
- Pre and Post mitigation water sample testing by an accredited lab
- Replacing water fountains or taps used for drinking water
- Installing filtered bottle filling stations
- Replacing plumbing to water fountains or taps
- Fixing walls opened to remove plumbing
- Lead service line replacement
How to apply
There are three steps in this program – drinking water testing, mitigation (if necessary), and post mitigation testing. Test results must be provided in order to qualify for the mitigation grant.
Step 1 – Testing Water for Lead:
Once approved, the information will be sent to the accredited laboratory who will provide you with a water sampling kit and instructions on how to collect water samples for testing. Detailed sampling instructions can be found here: Lead in Drinking Water-Schools-Centres-Large Buildings.
When the sampling is complete, follow the instructions to send the samples back to the lab.
Test results may take several weeks. You will receive an emailed copy of all the test results and any elevated lead results will be identified on the report. MEIA will also receive a copy of the lab report.
Step 2 – Lead Mitigation:
If you received test results above the provincial standard, you may apply for grant funding for the mitigation and/or remediation of the contamination. Information on how to mitigate lead contamination in drinking water can be found here: Corrective Actions – Lead
To apply for the Lead in Drinking Water Grant, download the Mitigation Grant Application Form, fill it out and email the completed form along with the water test results and a quote(s) for the mitigation work to [email protected]
There are three grant categories. Apply for only one category per application form. If you are applying for more than one category, fill out one application for each category.
Category 1: Drinking Water Lead Mitigation (School)
Category 2: Drinking Water Lead Mitigation (Child Care Centre)
Category 3: Retroactive Drinking Water Lead Mitigation – for mitigation expenses that occurred after April 1, 2019 but have not yet been included in any grant application.
Step 3 – Post Mitigation Testing:
Upon completion of mitigation work, all fixtures that had elevated lead prior to mitigation should be retested, following the procedure above (see Step 1 – Testing Water for Lead). Once test results show that lead is no longer elevated, the project is complete. If mitigation was not successful, then you may re-apply for an additional grant.
Certified Lead Tested Sticker
Schools or child care centres with test results that show lead levels from their drinking water taps are below the national guideline (0.005 mg/L) following initial testing or following successful mitigation efforts (re-tests) qualify for the Lead in Drinking Water Compliance Recognition Campaign. The campaign consists of an official “Certified Lead Tested” sticker to be placed at the main entrance of the facility. Any schools and child care centres interested in receiving a sticker should send their test results to the Office of Drinking Water at [email protected].
Mitigation grant recipients are required to submit a report upon completion of the work. Click here to download the Mitigation Grant Final Report. Report requirements include:
- Summary of completed work
- Invoices for completed work clearly showing the amount paid.
- Contact information of the contractor(s) who completed the work.
Category 1 & 2 applications will be evaluated and awarded as received. Category 3 applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and funding may not be awarded until a later date. It is important to note that funds are limited for this project, and no grants will be issued after March 31, 2024. In order to meet this deadline, we will not be accepting applications after February 29, 2024. If more funding is requested than available, priority will be given to the locations servicing the youngest children.
Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Detailed sampling instructions: Lead in Drinking Water-Schools-Centres-Large Buildings
How to mitigate lead contamination in drinking water: Corrective Actions – Lead
Photo credit for picture originally attached to this page attributed to https://plumbwellplumbers.com.au/