Board of Public Works - Public Education Notice08/29/2018
PUBLIC EDUCATION NOTICE
Important Information about Lead in Your Drinking Water
Public Water System Name: Lewes Board of Public Works
PWS ID#: DE0000602
Address: 107 Franklin Avenue, Lewes, DE 19958
Lewes Board of Public Works found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some buildings. We were on triennial monitoring for lead testing and collected samples for testing on August 9, 2018. We will begin sampling for lead every six (6) months to closely monitor the lead levels in the system.
Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and children. Read this information closely to see what you can do to reduce lead in your drinking water.
What Are the Health Effects of Lead?
Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk to lead exposure is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones, and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother's bones, which may affect brain development.
What Are the Sources of Lead?
The primary sources of lead exposure for most children are deteriorating lead-based paint, lead contaminated dust, and lead-contaminated residential soil. Lead is found in some toys, some playground equipment, some children's metal jewelry, and some traditional pottery. The EPA estimates that 10 to 20 percent of human exposure to lead may come from lead in drinking water. Lead is rarely found in source water; however, it enters tap water through corrosion of plumbing materials. Homes built before 1988 are more likely to have lead pipes or lead solder; however, new homes are also at risk. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures which can leach significant amounts of lead into the water, especially hot water. Exposure to lead is a significant health concern, especially for young children and infants whose growing bodies tend to absorb more lead than the average adult. Even if your home's drinking water lead levels were below the action level, parents should ask their health care providers about testing children for high levels of lead in the blood if they are concerned about lead exposure.
Run your water to flush out lead. If water hasn't been used for several hours, run water for 15-30 seconds to flush lead from interior plumbing or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking.
Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
Look for alternative sources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter. Read the package to be sure the filter is approved to reduce lead.
Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Brass faucets, fittings, and valves may contribute lead to drinking water. Lead solder was commonly used to join copper pipes prior to 1988; it appears dull gray and becomes shiny when scratched with a key. A licensed plumber will be able to help with lead solder identification, and if needed, replacement.
Remove debris from plumbing materials. Remove the faucet strainers from all taps and run the water for 3-5 minutes. Repeat this action periodically to flush out any debris that has accumulated over time.
Get your child tested. (If applicable, i.e., facilities that are schools or child care centers). Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead, if you are concerned about exposure.
Please call us at (302) 645-6228 for more information. For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home and the health effects of lead, visit EPA's website at www.epa.gov/lead, call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD, or contact your health care provider.
Please share this information with all other people who drink the water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly. You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or by distributing copies by hand or by mail.
This notice is being sent to you by Lewes Board of Public Works.