The City of Johnson City’s Public Water System (PWS) recently mailed a lead exceedance notice to all utility customers within the City. The notice was sent out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rules and regulations.
The PWS is required to test water originating within a minimum of ten (10) utility customer homes every three (3) years. Three (3) sampled homes contained elevated levels of lead within the homes. The PWS believes the elevated levels of lead originated from existing plumbing fixtures and pipes within the homes, as these homes were built prior to the EPA’s imposition of building material restrictions. Many homes built before the 1986 Safe Drinking Water Act contain lead pipes or lead solder in their plumbing systems.
To be clear, water tested on November 30, 2021 from the City’s well and ground water storage sites reported lead levels of 0.0005 mg/L. The actionable threshold is 0.015 mg/L, meaning that the amount of lead present within water entering the PWS is 187.097% less than the defined EPA actionable level for the presence of lead. Bottom line – the City of Johnson City’s water is safe to drink and use.
Important Steps You Can Take to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water:
- Have your water tested. Contact a water testing laboratory to have your water tested and to learn more about the lead levels in your drinking water.
- Learn if you have a lead service line. Contact a licensed plumber to determine if the pipe that connects your home to the water main (called a service line) is made from lead.
- Run your water. Before drinking, flush your home’s pipes by running the tap, taking a shower, doing laundry, or doing a load of dishes. The amount of time to run the water will depend on whether your home has a lead service line or not and the length of the lead service line.
- Learn about construction in your neighborhood. Be aware of any construction or maintenance work that could disturb your lead service line. Construction may cause more lead to be released from a lead service line.
- Use cold water. Use only cold water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula. Remember, boiling water does not remove lead from water.
- Clean your aerator. Regularly clean your faucet’s screen (also known as an aerator). Sediment, debris, and lead particles can collect in your aerator. If lead particles are caught in the aerator, lead can get into your water.
- Use your filter properly. If you use a filter, make sure you use a filter certified to remove lead. Read the directions to learn how to properly install and use your cartridge and when to replace it. Using the cartridge after it has expired can make it less effective at removing lead. Do not run hot water through the filter.
Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact Public Works Director BJ Sultemeier at 830.868.7111, Ext. 6, or by email at email@example.com.