The Alberta government is revising plans to introduce a voluntary testing pilot program for lead and copper in drinking water for schools and licensed daycares in January 2024.

Health concerns


There have been significant reductions of lead levels in consumer products such as gasoline and paint. However, food and drinking water remain potential sources of lead. Lead and copper can get into drinking water from plumbing materials within the building.

In 2019, Health Canada reduced the limit for lead in drinking water by half, based on a growing body of evidence that ingesting lead, even at low concentrations, may cause health effects in children, such as neurodevelopmental issues.


The human body needs small amounts of copper, but too much copper can lead to negative health effects. In 2019, Health Canada introduced a new limit for copper in drinking water based on evidence that short-term exposure to high levels of copper may cause nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and that long-term exposure at these levels could affect the liver and kidney.

Information for schools and daycares

Program documents will be made available prior to program launch and will provide detailed information regarding participation.



Connect with Alberta Health if you have questions:
Email: [email protected]

Was this page helpful?

Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca.