EPCOR launches service pipe replacement program to ensure water quality



    EDMONTON, March 25 /CNW/ - EPCOR is launching a new program to remove the
remaining lead service lines from Edmonton's water infrastructure.
    The program targets the 5,000 homes built before 1950 that receive their
water through lead service lines. Residents or owners in the 5,000 homes will
be offered:

    
    -   Free testing of household tap water;
    -   Free tap-mounted water filters for those who may have concerns about
        tap water quality;
    -   Permanent replacement of the water lines servicing their property.
        EPCOR will fund replacement up to the property line; customers would
        be responsible for costs to replace pipe on their property.
    

    Eligible households are being contacted by letter in March and April 2008
and invited to participate in the program. The program does not affect the 97%
of Edmonton homes that receive their water through non-lead pipes.
    "The quality of Edmonton's tap water is extremely high, 99.9% of Edmonton
homes met or exceeded all water quality parameters," said Dr. Stephen Stanley,
Senior Vice President for EPCOR Water Services. "We have been actively working
to develop a plan that ensures our water system continues to build on those
high standards, now and in the future."
    The Lead Service Replacement Program is an aggressive program that will
see the water in all homes with lead service pipes tested and all EPCOR-owned
lead service pipes in the city replaced. The program also reflects input from
Capital Health, Alberta Environment and Edmonton residents. It is being
launched ahead of new federal guidance on lead sampling in drinking water that
may be incorporated into future provincial regulations.
    EPCOR and Capital Health proactively initiated a study assessing the
impact of lead water services on water quality and health. The study showed
that while flushing taps before drinking can maintain good water quality for
homes with lead services, in a small number of homes the lead concentration
was still above the Health Canada guidelines.
    "Capital Health has done an initial small sampling of blood tests on 16
individuals, 14 adults and two children, and based on our initial results we
believe the health risk to be low. These results are consistent with other
jurisdictions who have had this same issue," says Dr. Gerry Predy, Vice
President, Public Health and Medical Officer of Health.
    Through the provision of testing, filters and permanent replacement, the
Lead Service Replacement Program is designed to deliver an immediate
improvement in water quality and a long term solution.
    The lead replacement program builds on EPCOR's ongoing strategy to
replace ageing water infrastructure.
    To find out more about the service pipe replacement program, or
maintaining household water quality, visit epcor.ca.
    Any Capital Health resident who has questions about the health
implications of this issue or the impact of lead on health can call Capital
Health Link at (780) 408-LINK (5465) or toll-free at 1-866-408-LINK (5465) or
visit the Capital Health website at www.capitalhealth.ca.

    EPCOR Utilities Inc. builds, owns and operates power plants, electrical
transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment
facilities and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. EPCOR has been
named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for eight consecutive years, and is
headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. EPCOR's web-site is www.epcor.ca.

    Forward-looking Information

    Certain information in this news release is forward looking and related
to anticipated financial performance, events and strategies. When used in this
context, words such as "will", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "intend",
"target" and "expect" or similar words suggest future outcomes. By their
nature, such statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties,
which could cause EPCOR's actual results and experience to be materially
different than the anticipated results. Such risks and uncertainties include,
but are not limited to, operating performance, commodity prices and volumes,
load settlement, regulatory and government decisions including changes to
environmental and tax legislation, weather and economic conditions,
competitive pressures, construction risks, availability and cost of financing,
foreign exchange risks, availability of labour and management resources and
the performance of partners, contractors and suppliers.

    Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements as actual results could differ materially from the plans,
expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking
statements. Except as required by law, EPCOR disclaims any intention and
assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new
information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other
reason.




For further information:

For further information: Mike Gibbs, EPCOR, (780) 412-8877; Ronna
Bremer, Capital Health, (780) 735-5111, Pager 445-3641

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EPCOR Utilities Inc.

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