Lead Pipes: New Requirements Could Weigh on Some Montréal Property Owners

Property owners in Montréal could be in for a surprise hit to their pockets following an announcement that the city will force thousands of property owners to replace their lead water lines.[1] In 2007, the city estimated that 69,000 buildings in Montréal had lead water lines. The announcement comes after the most recent guidelines from Health Canada reducing the maximum lead concentration in water from 10 micrograms to 5 micrograms.

Until now the city had left it up to owners to decide whether or not to undertake the replacement work, which typically costs between $2,200 and $5,000.[2] Now, If owners do not comply, the city will undertake the work and charge property owners for the cost.

Those planning to purchase property in Montréal should also be aware of this requirement, as it could mean an added, unexpected cost. To mitigate the risk, prospective purchasers may want to seek assurances from sellers and research the city’s map showing the likelihood a property having lead pipes as part of their diligence process. The risk is typically highest for smaller buildings built before 1970.[3]


[1] http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=5798,42657625&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&id=32134&ret=http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/portal/url/page/prt_vdm_fr/rep_annonces_ville/rep_communiques/communiques

[2] Montreal Gazette, “Montréal to force property owners to replace lead water pipes” October 23, 2019.

[3] Montreal Gazette, “Montréal to force property owners to replace lead water pipes” October 23, 2019.



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