Over the past several months, no doubt you have heard about elevated lead levels found in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan. We wanted to shed some light on what HTWSA does with regard to testing for both lead and copper in your drinking water.
Under the terms of the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) all public water systems must conduct monitoring for lead. This is required every six months, annually, or triennially (every three years), depending on the levels of lead that are found.
If 10 percent of the homes that are tested have lead levels greater than the action level of 15 parts per billion, then the public water system must increase monitoring and take additional efforts to control corrosion, and also inform the public.
Currently, HTWSA is required to take 20 samples triennially. Our most recent sampling was done in 2013 with test results indicating no presence of lead in any of the samples. Hence, the ND (or non-detect) listed in our Consumer Confidence Report. In accordance with the Lead and Copper rule, we will be samling again in 2016.
The action level for copper is 1.3 parts per million. HTWSA’s 2013 90th percentile result was 0.25 parts per million, well below the regulatory threshold.
While the media often reports that lead has been found in drinking water provided by the local water company, the truth is that lead (in most cases) is not found in the source of the drinking water, but is instead caused by lead leaching out of household fixtures, such as pipes and faucets. The age of household plumbing and quality of water source must also be taken into consideration, as older homes are more likely to have lead elements in their plumbing.
The good news for us is that our groundwater quality is extremely consistent and does not lend itself to the corrosive nature required to leach compounds out of plumbing fixtures. Therefore, we consistently have test results well below the action levels, as indicated above.
So where do we go from here?
As we have done for the past 30 plus years, HTWSA will continue to test, monitor, and meet all state and federal guidelines to ensure your drinking water is safe to drink now and into the future. Our goal is to ensure the quality of your water supply and your safety.
If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call.
James C. Groff, Manager
Hilltown Water and Sewer Authority