DPH: Notice issued for elevated lead levels in water in Del.

Water Lead Testing

LEWES, Del. – Health officials say a drinking water notice was issued for Lewes residents relating to elevated lead levels.

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) says on Thursday, the Lewes Board of Public Works (BPW) has issued a drinking water notice to customers after tests showed elevated levels of lead in the water. Officials say they were notified late last week from BPW that drinking water samples collected in August showed higher level of the EPA Action Level for lead.

According to the report, sampling consisted of 10 samples collected in different parts of the BPW service area with results ranging from non-detect to 38.4 ug/L.

Health officials say they are actively working with the Lewes BPW to conduct additional sampling and gather information to help define the scope and cause of the elevated lead levels. DPH says both agencies believe the presence of lead is likely associated with lead service pipes serving individual homes and buildings, or with plumbing components (pipe, fixtures, solder, etc.) within them that contain lead.

Residents concerned that their plumbing may contain lead should have their water tested to identify if lead is present. Health officials say bathing and showering should be safe even if the water contains lead over EPA’s action level  as human skin does not absorb lead in water.

DPH offers the following tips to reduce potential lead exposure:

  • Run the water for 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.
  • Do not boil water. Boiling water does not remove lead.

For more information on testing through an EPA-drinking-water-certified laboratory, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791. Click here for more on the health effects of lead.

Categories: Delaware