Information about Lead in Drinking Water

As you may know, lead in drinking water has been in the news recently. The Yarmouth School District proactively performed lead and copper testing at some of their schools, and a few of the sample sites were higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Action Level (AL) of 15 parts per billion (ppb). We understand results that exceed the EPA limits can be alarming, but most of the sample results were below the 15 ppb standard. Also, the School Superintendent has an aggressive action plan to mitigate the lead at the fixtures with the higher levels and perform re-sampling. We discussed this plan with the School Superintendent, and feel it is the right approach for the situation, and we have offered technical support moving forward.

The Yarmouth Water District (YWD) is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, and we can assure you that our source water supply, and water in the distribution system, contains no lead. Lead in drinking water is most commonly caused by household plumbing such as lead solder (used to join internal plumbing pipes and fixtures) and fixtures, such as faucets, that may contain lead. When water is in contact with lead components for a long period of time, typically greater than 6 hours, lead can dissolve into the water.

The Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) is legislation established by the EPA that started in 1991 and has since undergone many revisions. The LCR requires public water systems to monitor for lead and copper in drinking water and to provide corrosion control measures if levels are unacceptable. The YWD has been in compliance with the EPA AL of 15 ppb at the 90th percentile since the initiation of the LCR. Being in compliance with the 90th percentile means that 90% of the samples must be at or below the 15 ppb AL. Samples site requirements are specified by the EPA, and must be from single family homes built between 1982-1987 who have copper plumbing and potentially used lead solder. The YWD’s most recent results, and other required testing, can be found on our website at http://yarmouthwaterdistrict.org/about/water-quality/ just click on the most recent report date.

We hope this was informative, please see the links below for more information on lead in drinking water:

http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/dwp/pws/leadCopper.shtml

http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm

https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/lead-and-copper-rule

https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water

https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/lead-drinking-water-schools-and-child-care-facilities

As always, you can call our office at 846-5821 with any questions.

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