Elevated lead levels prompt drinking water notice for Lauderdale County

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. - Officials in Lauderdale County have issued a drinking water notice to residents following a test to reveal elevated levels of lead.

The East Lauderdale County Water Authority (ELCWA) issued a drinking water notice to its customers after testing showed elevated levels of lead in drinking water at three homes.

Officials say laboratory analysis for the monitoring period ending June 30, 2019, found that the three results exceeded the EPA Action Level of 15 ug/L. Sampling consisted of 20 samples collected in different parts of the ELCWA service area with results ranging from non-detect to 120 ug/L, according to the report.

On August 23, 2019, ELCWA’s laboratory reported that one of three confirmation samples collected on August 1, 2019, continued to show an exceedance of the EPA Action Level for lead.

According to officials, there is no evidence of lead in the water sources used by ELCWA, nor are there any known lead service lines in the system.

On August 21, 2019, ADEM say they directed ELCWA to prepare a corrosion control report, conduct water quality parameter and source monitoring, double the number of routine samples from 20 to 40, and provide educational materials to its customers and other consumers. The ADEM say they will be working closely with ELCWA to return the system to compliance as soon as possible.

ADEM advises customers who are concerned they may have lead in their plumbing to take the following steps:

  • Run the water for 15-30 seconds to flush lead from plumbing prior to using the water.
  • Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Hot water in contact with the pipes can leach more lead, so using cold water can reduce exposures.
  • Consider bottled water as an alternative source. Additionally, there are filters available for home use that will remove lead. NSF International maintains a list of filter products certified to remove lead.
  • Boiling water does not remove lead.

Officials say that Bathing and showering should be safe, even if the water contains lead over EPA's action level.

Officials say Human skin does not absorb lead in water.

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