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|City Issues Warning About Lead in Water
|Recent drinking water quality monitoring conducted by the city of Galesburg has found elevated levels of lead in some homes/buildings in the community. Although the primary sources of lead exposure are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust or soil, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 10 to 20 percent of a person's potential exposure to lead may come from drinking water.
The city of Galesburg is concerned about the health of their residents because lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources, especially for pregnant women and children 6 years and younger. 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. 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.
In 1992, the city of Galesburg initially tested sixty homes for lead levels in drinking water. These homes were selected based on the plumbing material, either having a lead water service and/or lead-based solder. Of these sixty homes more than 10% exceeded the EPA action level of 15 parts per billion. Test results from these sixty homes indicated the main source of lead in the drinking water was the lead water service.
In 1993, the city began adding a phosphate inhibitor in an effort to reduce the lead levels in drinking water. The treatment process has been effective in reducing the lead levels but overall the lead action level has continued to be exceeded.
The city is currently required to collect water samples from these sixty homes every six months until the lead action level is not exceeded by more than 10% of these homes. During this time the city will continue to add phosphate inhibitor to further reduce lead levels in drinking water.
You may have a lead water service. The lead water service is the responsibility of the property owner. To find out more about lead water service replacement or to find out if you have a lead water service call us at 309-345-3649.
There are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in your water:
*Run your water to flush out lead. 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, if it hasn't been used for several hours.
*Use cold water for cooking and preparing 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.
* Test your water for lead. Call 309-345-3649 to find out how to get your water tested for lead.
* Get your child's blood tested. Contact your local healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about exposure.
* Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead.
There are several actions that the city of Galesburg is taking to address this lead in drinking water concern. The city continues the phosphate inhibitor treatment process to further reduce the lead levels. The city also continues to collect water samples from sixty homes every six months to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment process.
Call the city of Galesburg at 309-345-3649 or visit www.ci.galesburg.il.us for further information about your drinking water and how it is treated.
For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home/building and the health effects of lead, visit EPA's website at www.epa.gov/lead or contact your health care provider.
(City of Galesburg)
|02 19 10 by Newsroom
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