The Flint, MI. Drinking Water Crisis – Facts and Information About Lead

Lead in Drinking Water – Facts and Information

 

In 1991, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Lead and Copper Rule for public drinking water systems.  Since the rule’s inception, the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District has taken steps through its water treatment process to successfully ensure that the water provided to its customers fully complies with all EPA requirements.  Water produced by the District contains no lead. Lead enters the drinking water when private plumbing fixtures containing lead solder or leaded brass fixtures corrode due to acidic (low pH) water and water with a low mineral content.  Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder.  The District adds an approved food grade corrosion inhibitor to ensure that harmful levels of lead will not leach into the drinking water for customers that may lead pipes, fixtures or solder.

 

For lead, the EPA has set the allowable lead standard at 15 parts per billion (ppb) at the customer’s tap.  Levels above 15 ppb have been shown to have negative long-term health effects, with children and pregnant women being most at risk.  The District’s lead testing results have consistently been below this 15 ppb standard.  For example, the District’s most recent full compliance lead level testing yielded an average result of 6 ppb.  Our lead testing program results are provided to our customers each June, as part of our Annual Consumer Confidence Report that is included with our Summer NewsletterWhat’s On Tap.  Since you cannot see, taste or smell dissolved lead in water, testing is the only sure way of telling whether there are harmful quantities of lead in your drinking water.  A standard lead test is costs around $30.  For detailed information about lead in drinking water we suggest that you visit the following EPA website:  http://www.epa.gov/your-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water#regs

 

The widespread media accounts surrounding the recent lead poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s public drinking water was the result of a four year long series of poor decisions, mismanagement, and regulatory blunders associated with switching to a new, more corrosive water supply source without proper treatment.  The circumstances surrounding the Flint water crises would be virtually impossible to duplicate anywhere else.  Flint’s well documented lead problem is systemic throughout their entire distribution system and produced lead levels as high as 13,200 ppb or 880 times higher than allowed.  A detailed summary of the Flint water crisis timeline can be found at: http://www.tpomag.com/online_exclusives/2016/01/the_flint_water_crisis_a_timeline?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=The%20Flint%20Water%20Crisis%3A%20A%20Timeline%20MORE&utm_campaign=160201_TPO)

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone (207-985-3385) or email (info@kkw.org ) should you have any questions about lead in your public drinking water.