City moving to make water supply safer for thousands

As the city continues with its construction blitz, councillors want to take the opportunity to offer homeowners a deal on replacing dated — and dangerous — lead pipes.

On Tuesday, a motion at city council was put forward for city construction crews to add pipe replacement to their to do list when they open up streets for roadwork.

All lead pipes within 1.5 meters of public property will be replaced by city crews as part of existing roadwork. City spokesperson Phillipe Sabourin says it should save homeowners a lot of money.

"The main idea here with the bylaw is to avoid a situation where the citizen will have to destroy a new sidewalk to build another one when it comes time to change the lead pipes" he says.

Hans Brouillette, a spokesperson for Montreal's largest landlord association, CORPIQ, says 1.5 meters is too short to fully replace the pipes connected to most buildings.

"We believe the city should do the work as proposed," he says. "They should also propose to landlords to do the work at the same time that the road is under construction."

He says city workers could just extend their construction excavation further onto private property, and charge landlords a larger fee.

Brouillette believes this would save time and money because the equipment and personnel will already be on site.

Under the current proposed bylaw owners will pay $500 to the city for the work, 500 million dollars is budgeted to replace all the lead pipes by 2026.