Little Thompson water positive for lead — Loveland Reporter-Herald

Roman lead pipe -- Photo via the Science Museum
Roman lead pipe — Photo via the Science Museum

From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Pamela Johnson):

Customers within the Little Thompson Water District, including three local schools, have been notified of elevated levels of lead discovered during recent water testing.

The water district tested 16 taps from its customers in September, and one of those revealed enough lead that the district notified all customers of the result and precautions they can take to be safe. The levels were not high enough to violate drinking water standards or require additional action.

“The risk is on a house by house basis depending upon how much lead they have in their plumbing system,” explained Ken Lambrecht, operations manager for the district.

“It happens when the water sits in the home plumbing.”

Both the Little Thompson and the Central Weld Water Districts receive their water from the Carter Lake Filter Plant, so they test their samples together.

The districts submitted 33 total samples in September, 16 from Little Thompson and 17 from Weld. Of those, one Little Thompson site and 5 Weld sites tested above 15 micrograms per liter of lead, requiring them to notify all customers and offer education about lead. The Little Thompson reading was 21.7 micrograms per liter, while the highest in Weld was 31.9.

To lower lead levels, the districts have implemented a new procedure whereby a substance named poly-orthophosphate is added to the water, Lambrecht said. This coats the pipes so any lead within them cannot leach into the water and affect customers, he said…

Steps to reduce lead

The Little Thompson Water District offers the following advice for reducing the risk of lead exposure in water:

  • Flush out the system by running the cold water until it is noticeably colder if you haven’t had the water running for several hours. Save the water for plants or cleaning.
  • Always use cold water for drinking, cooking and preparing baby formula. (Note: Boiling water does not reduce lead.)
  • Periodically remove and clean the faucet’s strainer and aerator and run water to remove debris.
  • Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead.
  • Consider installing a water treatment device.
  • Have a licensed electrician check your home’s wiring because, if grounding wires are attached to pipes, the risk of corrosion may increase.
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