The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority have released the results of lead water testing completed in May and June. Federal and state rules require water providers to test for the presence of lead in drinking water every three years.
The PWSA tested 100 homes that were likely to have lead in the service lines. 17 of the homes tested had lead levels higher than the 15 parts per billion action level set by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, reports WTAE.
Pittsburgh’s water authority is now required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to do more monitoring for lead and improve its water anti-corrosion treatment. The PWSA is also required launch a public education program by Sept. 1.
The water authority is also required to create a complete list of lead service lines it owns and then replace 7 percent of those lead lines each year.
PWSA says most of the lead contaminated areas come from service line owned by customers. The water authority will test customer’s water for lead for free, upon request. The customer is responsible to take action at their own expense if the lead level is too high.
“You can simply decide to flush your lines regularly, and there are instructions on these various websites about how to do that. You could install filters, particularly on taps where you actually drink water. Or, at your meter, you can put a household filter on. Or you can decide, ‘I want to have the service line replaced,'” said interim executive director David Donahoe.
PWSA customers will receive more information in the mail.