As Calgarians, we’re lucky to live in one of the best countries in the world, where most of us benefit from abundant, clean water. However, despite our fortune of living in a city with some of the cleanest water in the world, many of us might act rashly if presented with the possibility that the water we’ve all trusted was actually contaminated.
Is Calgary the Next Flint, Michigan?
Across North America, the situation in Flint, Michigan was serious news. It took an issue most of us associated with developing nations and reminded us that any of us could be drinking lead-contaminated water. Water is one of the necessity of life; the fear that we may not have access to clean, safe drinking water can be crippling.
The good news is that Calgary is not Flint. Only 0.02% of all homes in Calgary are affected by lead contamination, and the city has already identified those homes and regularly sends updates to the homeowners. Unfortunately, that won’t stop some people from pretending otherwise.
Water Quality Scams come in several forms. Typically, a person will arrive at your door and claim they are either with the City of Calgary or a utility company. They’ll claim they’re testing water in the area, and ask for access into your home. At this point, the scam will usually go one of two ways.
First, they may perform a bogus test on your water, claim that the results mean your family is practically drinking poison, and then they attempt to sell you a fancy filter which will keep you safe.
Second, they may say they need to take a look at your water heater, water metre, or some other plumbing fixture. They may claim they’re testing water quality, or they may say they’re check your heater, pipes, etc. Regardless, once they’ve gained access to your home, they’ll steal anything valuable that’s lying around.
Protecting Yourself from Scams.
If someone you don’t know comes knocking on your door and demands money or access to your home, tell them you’ll verify their story, and then close and lock the door. If the person acts anything less than professionally to this news, you have a scammer on your hands. They may become aggressive and insist on entry. Refuse them access and inform them you’ll call the police if they don’t vacate the property. We know that Canadians pride ourselves on being polite, but you don’t owe scammers politeness.
If the person at your door remains polite and professional after you lock the door, it’s time to verify their story. The City of Calgary is responsible for your drinking water, so call the city and ask whether they’ve dispatched someone to your area and for what reason. Ask for their employee’s name. If they have sent someone, you can then ask the person at your door for their ID. All city employees will have one, so you can check if this is the right person.
Don’t let scammers play on fears of dangerous chemicals in Calgary’s drinking water, but if you have concerns about what’s in your water or the flavour of the water, a Calgary plumber may be able to help. We can reassure you about the safety of your plumbing or help you to install a filtration system. Let our Calgary plumbers know if you have any concerns, and we’ll be right over to help!