Lead Found in Water Tests
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The Hollidaysburg Public Works Department collects around 20 water from homes in the borough every three years. Several samples collected last year brought back some high numbers. "I've been here 19 years and we've never had high lead levels in any of our water systems, so I was a little surprise to us," said Rick Pope, Hollidaysburg Borough director of public works. Pope said three water samples, taken in the third quarter of 2019, showed high amounts of lead. "What we found was in the properties that we had the high levels, the sampler was not able to access the house to get a sample at the kitchen faucet, so they took a sample from the spigot," he said. Pope said the water coming from those pipes was stagnant, resulting in a higher lead content. "We felt that it was a sampling error so we immediately resampled all of those properties," Pope said. "When we resampled everything, all the levels were far below the requirements of DEP and the federal levels." Pope said the borough's water system does not utilize any lead pipes but plumbing in older homes may still have some lead components. "You have the old lead solder that the copper pipes were soldered with and some of the older fixtures were made with a higher level of lead,What happens is if the water sits in those lines and it Doesn't get used, it leeches into the water. Normally you're not going to have an issue unless you have a lead pipe supplying something in your house." If you're concerned, Pope suggests letting the water run for a few seconds before drinking it or using it to cook. Boiling does not help reduce lead levels. Pope said the only way to know how much lead is in your water supply is to get it tested at a lab. "They usually do the test within seven to 10 days, You usually can get your results back within about two to three weeks." Pope said the borough will continue routine sampling to assure the water is safe. "We're confident that the water is clean, fine, fit to drink,Everything is good. I drink it on a daily basis." Pope said the borough uses Fairway Laboratories in Altoona for water testing. He suggests contacting their offices with inquiries about sampling water from your home.