Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DEP: 90 Public Water Systems Exceed Lead Action Levels In PA

New drinking water testing for lead and copper by more than 2,859 public water supply systems found 11 exceeded both the lead and copper action levels, 79 exceeded only the lead action level, and 42 exceeded only the copper action level.
An action level exceedance occurs if the results from more than 10 percent of the homes tested are above the action level, which is 15 parts per billion (ppb) for lead and 1.3 parts per million (ppm) for copper.
Water systems are required to sample the water from consumers' homes on a specific frequency, which is either every six months, annually or triennially (once every three years).
DEP has posted the results on its Safe Drinking Water webpage that can be searched by public water system name and other criteria.
Notification Of Customers By Water Suppliers
Residents served by systems that have had an exceedance can expect to be notified within 60 days by their water supplier. Water systems that have exceeded the action level for lead or copper will be required to sample again every six months until there have been two consecutive sampling rounds below the action level.
Lead exposure in drinking water typically comes from plumbing fixtures and not the source of the water supply.
What You Can Do
Residents who are concerned about lead and copper in drinking water - either from public water systems or well water - should take the following steps to reduce possible exposure.
-- Run water to flush out lead and copper. If water hasn't been used for several hours, run water for 15 to 30 seconds or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking. This flushes out any stagnant water in the home's plumbing and replaces it with fresh water from the water main in the street.
-- Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead and copper dissolve more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
-- Do not boil water to remove lead or copper. Boiling water will not reduce lead or copper. In fact, lead or copper concentrations will be higher in water that is boiled since some of the water is removed as steam.
-- Test water for lead or copper. Contact the water system for more information about obtaining water testing. Some water systems may offer to test its customers’ water free of charge. The water system can also provide information about local laboratories that conduct lead testing.
-- Private well water users should contact a DEP-accredited lab for information about water testing. Here is the link to a listing of DEP-accredited labs.
-- Identify plumbing fixtures containing lead. There are lead check swabs that can detect lead on plumbing surfaces such as solder and pipes. These swabs can be purchased at plumbing and home improvement stores.
In February, DEP said its review of 159 public water systems covering 6 million people in the state found none that exceeded EPA action levels for lead.
In May, DEP took action against the Pittsburgh Water Authority when drinking water sampling found lead results above action levels.
For more background on lead levels in drinking water, visit DEP’s Lead In Drinking Water webpage.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner