Lead found in water of eight homes, but city says its plant isn’t the source; tests available

Levels of lead in excess of Environmental Protection Agency standards have been found in eight of 70 recent residential water samplings — a presence City Utilities says did not originate at Fort Wayne’s water filtration plant.

“Water produced and distributed from our Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant always meets or is better than state and federal requirements,” City Utilities said in a statement. “But, as we’ve reported before, lead service lines, lead solder and lead plumbing fixtures that are inside some homes can cause lead levels to increase above recommended standards.”

All eight of the homes were built before 1986, when Congress banned the use of lead solder containing greater than 0.2 percent lead and restricted the lead content of faucets, pipes, and other plumbing materials inside homes to 8 percent. Six of the homes were built before 1937 and are likely to have lead service lines.

The owners of the homes with elevated lead results have already received notification, but additional educational material from City Utilities and the Allen County Department of Health has been mailed to all Fort Wayne water utility customers about lead paint inside and outside homes, lead-contaminated soil and dust, and lead in drinking water. The city has also notified the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and EPA about the tests results.

To help water utility customers who may want to have their water tested, City Utilities has secured a reduced charge for lead tests from Element Materials Technology. The regular cost for lead analysis is $25, and the company has agreed to charge individuals the same fee City Utilities pays, which is $16 per sample. In addition to the discounted service from Element, there are other commercial labs around the state that are certified to perform tests for lead in water. The State of Indiana has a list of laboratories that residents may want to use. The list is available at www.in.gov/isdh/22452.htm.

More information about reducing lead risks can be found on the following websites:

www.epa.gov/lead

https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-exposures-lead

https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/utilities/drinking-water.html

Childhood Lead Poisoning

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