Lead in Drinking Water – Quick Accurate Screening Test At Home

Lead in Your Drinking Water

Despite measures taken by the EPA, lead poisoning is still a serious concern.  Lead can be found in old water taps as well as interior and exterior piping, plus in consumer products, paints, and pigments, and even your home.  As water sits in these pipes, the water can interact with the piping or the coating on the piping.  During this reaction, the level of lead in the water may increase. You can not see lead in water, but there may be some warning signs of a problem.  These warning signs are blue-green or blue water when you fill the bathtub, coatings or precipitates that are green or bluish-green in color, water that has a metallic taste, and pin hole leaks in the piping.    Drinking this water can cause lead poisoning that results in a number of serious health concerns.  Those at the most risk are young children, pregnant women, and the elderly.  If your tap water has lead levels exceeding 15ppb, you should take action immediately to minimize your exposure.

TestAssured’s Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit is designed to test for lead in water. This test is compatible with municipal water and private water systems.  If you live in a home with older pipes or frequently drink from a water fountain where lead piping could be used, you should check the lead levels.   If you not sure, you may want to take a look at our Know Your H20 Phone App.

This fast acting Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit includes all the instructions and supplies you need to quickly test your drinking water for the presence of lead.  In only 10 minutes, the Lead in Drinking Water Test will let you know if there are harmful elements in your water. It also includes a free pesticide test strip so you can make sure there are no pesticide contaminants in your water.  This simple test kit can easily be used in your home, classroom, office and anywhere else where you would need to test water quality. Quickly and accurately test well water, city/municipal water, tap water, residential drinking water, groundwater, and spring water sources. The results are fast and easy to read by following along with the included color chart and instruction manual.

Our Suggestions

  1. Take a look at the DIY Lead in Water Test Kit.
  2. Check out and learn about your city water, using this zip code search site.
  3. Support and Share this page with others @KnowYourH20
  4. Learn about Flint Michigan do not let this happen to you – Be Proactive – Not Reactive.

Pennsylvania Lead Task Force – John Yudichak. Senate Resolution 33

Senate Approves Resolution Creating Task Force to Investigate Threat of Lead Exposure in Pennsylvania

Senator John T. Yudichak recently announced that Senate Resolution 33 — which creates a bipartisan task force to investigate the scope of Pennsylvania’s lead exposure problem — was approved unanimously by the full Senate. The resolution had been approved unanimously by the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee at the end of April.

Senator Yudichak introduced the resolution earlier this session because lead exposure can threaten the health and well-being of every Pennsylvanian—especially senior citizens and children. “The task force report will advance cooperative efforts to arm the General Assembly with better information and best practice recommendations to develop new lead abatement programs that more aggressively mitigate lead exposure in Pennsylvania,” said State Senator John Yudichak.

The resolution calls for the Senate to establish a task force on lead exposure comprised of the chairs of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee and two members appointed by the Senate President pro tempore and the Minority Leader. An advisory committee of the Joint State Government Commission will conduct a comprehensive review of Pennsylvania law and public policy related to lead exposure and abatement practices and then submit a report to the task force and full Senate within 18-months. The report must assess the age of housing and infrastructure, lead exposure threats, and identify the prevalence of lead in structures where children spend significant time.

 

A few key points

  1. This is not just a drinking water issue.  Lead is present in many homes and sources include old lead paint, cookware, make-up, and other consumer products.
  2. If on city water, check piping in home for lead pipe and evidence of corrosion.  Remove the aeration devices and clean and flush the water lines to remove any films and coatings.
  3. If on city water – read the Consumer Confident Reports generated by water supplier and look for signs of corrosion.
  4. If on well water – get your water tested.
  5. Use are free phone App – Know Your H20 – Android / Google ;  Apple

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) and Your Water

“A study by the U.S. Geological Survey published in 2002 brought attention to PPCPs in water. In a sampling of 139 susceptible streams in 30 states, detectable yet minute quantities of PPCPs were found in 80 percent of the streams. The most common pharmaceuticals detected were steroids and nonprescription drugs. Antibiotics, prescription medication, detergents, fire retardants, pesticides and natural and synthetic hormones were also found.

The potential human health risks associated with minute levels of PPCPs in water in general and drinking water in particular is still being determined. Until more is known, there is much the public health and environmental protection community can do to educate the public about taking proactive steps concerning the use and disposal of PPCPs.

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a diverse group of chemicals including:

  • all human and veterinary drugs
  • dietary supplements
  • topical agents such as cosmetics and sunscreens
  • laundry and cleaning products
  • fragrances and all the “inert” ingredients that are part of these products

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products are introduced to the environment as pollutants in a variety of ways, including:

  • intentional disposal of unneeded PPCPs (flushing)
  • bathing or swimming
  • discharge from municipal sewage systems or private septic systems
  • leaching from landfills
  • excretion by humans and domestic animals
  • runoff from confined animal feeding operations
  • discharge of raw sewage from storm overflow events, cruise ships, and some rural homes directly into surface water
  • accidental discharges to a groundwater recharge area
  • loss from aquaculture
  • spray-drift from antibiotics used on food crops.”

Other Resources
pharmaceuticals-PPCPs
ppt_ppcp_Presentation

Water Treatment – Point Of Use for PFOS and PFOA = NSF P473

Technical References

Handbook of Membrane Separations: Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Food, and Biotechnological Applications, Second Edition

Personal Care Products and Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater and the Environment

Nationwide Program: Community Environmental Report Your Home Health Status and Know Your H20?

Nationwide Program:
Community Environmental Report
Your Home Health Status and Know Your H20?

Direct Link to this Nationwide Program-
Visit Us at http://www.knowyourh2o.us

Know Your H20?

We Launched Two – New Phone Apps and they are Available for IOS and Android Platforms

  1. Know Your H20? – Know Your H2O? is an educational tool that can help you diagnose the problem with your water. This app will lead you through a series of questions to pinpoint the issues with your water. You can reach your diagnosis through describing symptoms that are effecting your home, your health, or the water itself. This App is linked to the Water Research Portal.
  2. Baseline Water Testing (Pennsylvania) – The PA Baseline Testing mobile app is an educational tool for residents of Pennsylvania who are impacted by Oil & Gas Development or Subsurface Coal Development. By selecting which factor impacts your region, you can discover various recommendations and tiers of water testing that can help bring you piece of mind about the safety of your drinking water. Got Data? You can also submit your own testing data and results to help continue to build the PA Clean Water Team’s database.

The Nationwide Program

  1. The program helps you to identify the existing and historic environmental hazards in your community.
  2. We are working with a national environmental database search company to offer a report to help you understand your home or your future homes environmental health status within a community.
  3. We are doing this by taking a snapshot of the current and historic environmental concerns and hazards in the community and a review of select criminal activity.
  4. Featured Activities or Issues: Old Landfills, Leaky Fuel Tanks, Hazardous Waste Sites, Department of Defense Facilities, Superfund Sites, Radiological Sources, Clandestine Drug Labs, Floodplains and Wetlands and more.
  5. Report cost $ 55.00 per property, payable to the Keystone Clean Water Team.

Questions – please contact us at (570) 335-1947 or email the program manager, Mr. Brian Oram, at bfenviro@ptd.net.

Keystone Clean Water Team – 501c3
15 Hillcrest Drive, Dallas, PA 18612
http://www.pacleanwater.org

B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.
http://www.bfenvironmental.com

@KnowyourH20

Starting Off the New Year Right – Drinking Water Water Resources Sustainability

Starting Off the New Year Right

by Brian Oram

Happy New Year, I would like to propose we make one additional commitment this year.  This commitment is to care about the water we drink as we try to remember how we impact or influence the quality and quantity of the water resources.  Although it is the beginning of a new year (wishing you GOOD Luck in 2017!), for the water cycle the new year started in October.  This is the time of the year when the aquifer begins to recharge. Many people are unaware that the aquifer must recharge, it is not infinite.  In Pennsylvania and the Northeastern United States, we are blessed with having abundant water resources, but something we should not take for granted.   In 2016, we had an interesting election year that brought up many concerns. Also in the news, came a reminder of the limitedness of the water.  A number of regions of Pennsylvania were put on a drought advisory and many small streams, springs, and even a few shallow wells dried up, i.e., no water.  With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, I would like to suggest a few small steps to help move us forward in a positive direction.  These steps are as follows:

  1. Learn about how and where you get your drinking water – Does your water come from a private source or city water supply source?
  2. If the water is from a private well- When did you have the water tested? For parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, it is not uncommon for about 40 to 50% of private wells to have a problem that may make the user or a guest sick.
  3. If you are on a city water source- Have you ever looked at the Annual Confidence Report about the quality of your drinking water? The most common problem with community water sources is elevated levels of trace metals like lead and chlorine by-products like trihalomethanes, i.e., suspected carcinogens.  For information on water testing, please visit water-research.net.
  4. Are you using your water wisely? There are ways to use our drinking water resources more efficiently.   A website titled, wateruseitwisely.com, offers over 100 tips on how to best use water.  My favorite tip is “Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four”.  There are over 4 million households in Pennsylvania, this one lifestyle change could save 41.6 billion gallons of water.  This is only one change!
  5. Our surface water and groundwater are connected, and “we all live downstream”. This phrase means that how we use the groundwater resources directly impacts the surface water resources and we all are interconnected.  Therefore, when using cleaning products, chemicals, or managing a waste we all live downstream from someone else.   For example, the biggest source of man influenced global oil pollution is not massive spills or leaks.  Only 8% of man influenced oil pollution comes from pipelines and major releases. The biggest sources are the small leaks from our boats, cars, and other means of transportation and the improper disposal of waste oil by individuals.
  6. Know Your H20? – it is important to know how you can influence the quality of the water resources, but it is also important to know the historic hazards in your community that may be contributing to a problem. With this in mind, it is important to learn about the historic hazards in your community and surrounding your home.  The Keystone Clean Water Team offers neighborhood or community hazard survey reports for communities within the Unities States.  The 501 c3 offers a few free reports each month.  To get more information about this program, please visit – knowyourh20.us.

The best way to start off the New Year is not with a significant lifestyle change, but baby steps.   Make a few basic commitments and make small changes that will help you and your family save and conserve water, check the quality of your drinking water, learn about the hazards in your community, and perhaps implement 1 item each month that will save and conserve water.   It is important to remember that the less water you use, the more money stays in your pocket.

A few short phrases we should try to remember.

We ALL Live Downstream !

Groundwater and Surface water are Connected!

We are Part of the Water Cycle – Not just an Observer!

You can help – Make A Donation !

 

 

America’s infrastructure collapsing Hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) was just found in 75% of drinking water

“(NaturalNews) An Environmental Working Group review of government water analysis data reveals that 75% of drinking water in America is contaminated with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium-6). In a widely publicized report, EWG warns that 200 million Americans are right now being exposed to this toxic chemical in their water.

This is on top of our own efforts at EPAwatch.org where my lab tested hundreds of municipal water samples from across the country and found high levels of lead and other heavy metals in 6.7% of samples.

America’s infrastructure collapsing into Third World status

This quote at a recent rally in  Michigan is very true- “”we used to make cars in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are being made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”” Nor can you safely drink public water almost anywhere in America, as it’s almost universally contaminated with chromium-6, heavy metals or other toxic chemicals.”

To Read More: http://www.naturalnews.com/055408_chromium-6_drinking_water_chemical_suicide.html

Personally – We are the solution, not big govt, we must act to be informed, understand risk, and act.  You can Act NOW! Just some suggestions:

Act NoW !

  1. Get Your Water Tested – We recommend the Well Water or City Water Test Kit.
  2. Complete a Hazardous Survey Around Your Home!
  3. Get or Install a Point of Use Water Treatment Device  (Treated Water for Pennies a Gallon) !

Governor Cuomo Announces Immediate State Action Plan to Address Contamination in Hoosick Falls – PFOA

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a series of immediate actions by New York State to address contamination in the Village of Hoosick Falls’ water supply and at the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Site. These announcements follow today’s meeting between the Governor and senior state and local officials.

“We are taking immediate and aggressive actions to protect the health of Hoosick Falls residents,” said Governor Cuomo. “These actions will ensure that the source and extent of PFOA contamination is identified, and all necessary steps are taken to swiftly address the chemical’s presence. My administration is investigating this situation fully, and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure safe, clean drinking water for local residents.”

Emergency regulation issued to classify PFOA as a hazardous substance; Saint-Gobain facility to be classified as a State Superfund Site to unlock state resources and legal remedy to address contamination.

State will conduct Health Risk Analysis to establish PFOA drinking water guidance level; retest private wells in the village of Hoosick Falls; and immediately install filtration systems at school and other community gathering places

State hotline (1-800-801-8092) established to help public stay informed.

 

EPA – Drinking Water Health Advisory 

NJ – Drinking Water Guidance on PFOA – DEP also has taken the first step toward developing a preliminary drinking-water guidance value (Pdf Format) for PFOA. Based on existing animal studies and estimates derived from a lifetime of exposure (70 years), DEP identified a guidance level of .04 parts per billion (ppb). Average blood levels in the United States are approximately 5 ppb.

The Details

These actions include to:

 

  • Issue Emergency Regulation to Classify PFOA as Hazardous Substance: The state Department of Environmental Conservation today issued an emergency regulation to classify Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the contaminant found in the Village’s water supply, as a hazardous substance. This provides DEC with the legal authority to pursue State Superfund designation and cleanup of the site using State Superfund resources.
  • Classify Saint-Gobain Facility as a State Superfund Site to Unlock State Resources to Address Contamination: Further, the state announced it will classify the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation McCaffrey Street Plant and other possible sources of contamination that may be identified in Hoosick Falls as State Superfund sites to unlock state funding resources under the State Superfund Program to address the contamination in the community. DEC has already initiated its investigation and inspected the Saint-Gobain property. If in the course of its continuing investigation DEC finds any additional sources of PFOA contamination, they will also be listed. The Superfund Class 2 designation will allow the state to use State Superfund resources to investigate and clean up PFOA contamination much more quickly than waiting for a federal Superfund designation. In addition, the state will be able to seek cost recovery for the investigation and cleanup activities. DEC will collaborate closely with EPA in the investigation of PFOA in groundwater, soil and other media in Hoosick Falls to determine appropriate cleanup activities.
  • Conduct Health Risk Analysis to Establish PFOA Drinking Water Guidance Level: To address the water supply contamination, the state Department of Health will conduct a risk analysis, examining the latest national research, to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.
  • Retest Private Wells in the Village of Hoosick Falls: In addition, the state Department of Health will retest 24 private wells in the vicinity of the Saint-Gobain facility.
  • Immediately Install Filtration Systems at School and Other Community Gathering Places: Out of an abundance of caution, the state committed to installing water filtration systems at the local school, public health facilities and other community gathering places.
  • Blood Testing of Community Members to Begin in Mid-February: Beginning in mid-February, DOH will begin blood testing for community members for those who wish to be tested.
  • Establish State Hotline for Public to Stay Informed: Residents can contact 1-800-801-8092 for more information.

Further, once PFOA contamination is addressed, the state committed to work with the community and banks to safeguard property values.

Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said: “Under the direction of Governor Cuomo, New York State is working collaboratively with all levels of government from the EPA to the village and town, to address the contamination in Hoosick Falls. Classifying PFOA as a hazardous substance and making the Saint-Gobain site a State Superfund site will free up resources to investigate and clean up the contamination quickly. We will continue our open dialogue with local officials and the people of Hoosick Falls to ensure they are informed throughout our investigation and remediation.”

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said: “The actions taken today by Governor Cuomo, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health will safeguard the residents of Hoosick Falls and help address their concerns. The Department of Health will continue to test private wells, and will soon begin a blood testing program to measure residents’ exposure to PFOA. Additionally, DOH will continue to examine the latest and best scientific research to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.”

Senator Kathy Marchione said: “I want to personally thank Governor Cuomo for convening this afternoon’s highly productive and positive meeting regarding Hoosick Falls. The announcement that the state recognizes the seriousness of this issue and is taking purposeful action that will help Hoosick Falls families is welcome news. Our discussion today focused on realistic solutions including the state’s regulation of PFOAs, testing of all local wells, blood testing and carbon filtration systems to help protect the health and well-being of families in Hoosick Falls. The positive steps agreed to today are welcome news for the community. I have been carefully monitoring this situation and will continue advocating for Hoosick Falls families as this process moves forward.”

Town of Hoosick Supervisor Mark Surdam said: “I am thankful for the Governor’s recognition of the problem our community is facing with its water supply, and for the actions the state taking today. I want to assure all of the residents in the Town of Hoosick that we are undergoing a tremendous effort to deal with these concerns.”

Village of Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge said: “I am grateful for Governor Cuomo’s swift action to help our community quickly restore the use of our water supply – and am pleased by the level of coordination by state agencies responding to this issue. This is a major step forward for all residents of the greater Hoosick Falls community.”

Hoosick Falls Central School Superintendent Kenneth Facin said: “Today’s meeting with Governor Cuomo was productive and meaningful, and promises real results for our students and parents. We are appreciative to be a part of a singular, concerted effort to rectify the environmental issues surrounding our water supply. As a proactive measure to ensure the health and safety of our students, the state is assisting our school district with the installment of a carbon filtration system. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership in galvanizing resources to assist our community.”

State’s Earlier Actions to Address PFOA Contamination

Today’s actions build upon DEC and DOH’s initiatives announced earlier this month to address the PFOA contamination to protect public health and the environment. The state urged EPA to take vigorous action on the federal level to regulate PFOA and to quickly add the Hoosick Falls site to the Superfund National Priorities List. The state, Saint-Gobain and the Village are collaboratively working on an agreement to install water treatment systems to remove hazardous chemicals from the Village’s water supply. In addition, DOH is undertaking a cancer registry study to investigate the incidence of cancer among Village residents and biomonitoring studies. Further DOH is offering PFOA biomonitoring to measure the level of PFOA in Village residents.

PFOA was detected in the Village’s public drinking water in 2014. Since then, DOH has worked closely with the Village to provide technical advice and assistance for water sampling and to evaluate water treatment options to eliminate health risks. Because the levels of PFOA in public water were higher than the EPA health advisory level, DOH determined that people should reduce their exposure by avoiding the use of tap water for drinking and cooking. In addition, DOH continues to monitor private wells and will have more results very soon.

Although the use of PFOA is being phased out, it is still used to make household and commercial products that resist heat, and repel oil, stains, grease, and water. This includes nonstick cookware, surface coatings for stain-resistant carpets and fabric, and paper and cardboard food packaging. Studies of people have associated exposure to PFOA with an increased risk for several health effects. This includes associations with effects on the liver, immune system, thyroid gland, cholesterol levels, blood pressure during pregnancy, and kidney and testicular cancer.

 

Know Your Community Health Hazards !  Know Your H20?
Get Your Water Tested !

How to Reduce Lead in Your Drinking Water

Lead has been a hot new topic, but not for the Keystone Clean Water Team.  We have been talking about and educating the public,  private well users, and city water users about lead and drinking water quality for over 30 years.  Here are some suggestions to reduce lead in your drinking water.

  1. Flush your pipes before using the water for drinking – most of the lead in the water is not coming from the water source, but from the piping in your home or the main water line.  Lead may be also coming some of the fixtures or some of the scale that as built up over time on the inside of the pipes.    The longer the water has been sitting in the piping – the higher the lead content – “SO flush it out”.    (How Long?  – about 2 minutes or until it becomes noticeably cold).    Hint- “Most of the time the source is your water pipes, NOT the main.”
  2. Use ONLY Cold Water for Consumption – this includes making soup, tea, coffee, etc.   Hot water likely contains even more lead.  Also – watch the cookware ! Glazed pottery and some glazing used tableware and cookware can contain lead and other metals, like aluminum.  (Watch imported and traditional Goods and replicas !)
  3. Get the Water Tested – Ask the Utility to Test, Contact a Testing Laboratory, or conduct an Informational Water Test from a reliable source, but get the facts and do a first flush and flushed test for copper, lead, and zinc.   If you think there is a problem and you have a private water system or well, you may want a more comprehensive test to determine the corrosion and/or scale forming potential of your water.
  4. If you have slime coating or odors – Get a bacterial test that includes total coliform, standard plate count, E. coli.,  and slime forming bacteria.

Hints You May Have A Lead Problem

  1. Your home has faucets or fitting made of brass that contains some lead.
  2. Your home has lead pipes.
  3. Your home has copper pipes with lead solder and the home is older than 1989, the water is soft, and the water is used intermittently.
  4. You have pin hole leak, blue-green stains, or blue water.
  5. Your home was built before 1930s.
  6. Piping installed prior to 1986 may have solder and flux that was high in lead – How High?  At one time as high as 50 % lead.   In 1986, the term lead-free applies to solders and flux that are 0.2 % lead and pipes and fittings must be 8 % or less lead.  This did not go into effect until about 1988.

More on Corrosion and More on Lead.   Indoor testing of paint and sources for lead.

Blood lead levels PA cities.

Please do not forget about environmental lead exposure and note foreign products may have more lead- old paint, chipping paint, glazed pottery, some cosmetics, lipstick,  some crayons, kids toys (especially imported),   imported foods in cans, work exposure to lead, lead batteries, imported candles, lead contaminated soils.   (Sources- NY State; FDA)

Please note – This is one reason to Buy – Made in America !

We have been asked for a recommendation on a faucet mounted or counter mounted treatment system – Based on a review – it appears the NSF Certified – Paragon P3200 would be a suitable Countertop Treatment Unit (replace filter cartridge annually)- Use Promo Code A27AC.

Lead Drinking Water Crisis in Flint Michigan KDF

Lead- Metals- Corrosive Water
Water Quality Association Addresses Drinking Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Offers facts and tips about treating for lead contamination

Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Flint residents are expected to receive federal aid to help ensure their access to safe drinking water. On January 16, 2016, President Obama signed an Emergency Declaration for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster- relief efforts. The declaration states that, “This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days.”

Lead (Pb) has been identified as the waterborne contaminant of primary concern for Flint’s residents. To minimize the presence of contaminants such as lead, which may enter the water after it has left a municipal treatment facility, WQA recommends water treatment equipment that has been certified by an ANSI (American National Standards Institute)-accredited certification body. Such accredited entities include WQA’s Gold Seal Product Certification Program, NSF International and Underwriters Laboratory. Flint residents are encouraged to visit www.wqa.org to search for the names of products certified by WQA for lead reduction. Click here to download a technical fact sheet about Lead (Pb).

It is important consumers follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. WQA also lists of water treatment professionals across the U.S. on its website at www.wqa.org.
Additional notes
1. Recommend that we concentrate on the following – get kids and adults blood tested.
2. Get first flush testing completed for lead and alternative water source for drinking.
3. Install point of use treatment in the interim.
4. Develop a plan to remove the lead service lines.
5. Develop a plan to install corrosion control.
6. Lawsuits should wait until the problem is addressed.

More on lead in drinking water- Corrosion 

Check out the Know Your H20? App

Water Treatment Systems – Must Likely need a neutralizing filter and a filter that has KDF 85 or KDF 55 media.

 

More – 2/4/2016

Water Quality Association Addresses Frequently Asked Questions about Lead in Water

Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help differentiate fact from fiction regarding the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The Association has compiled answers to several of the most common questions, while addressing some widespread misconceptions Flint residents may have about lead (Pb) in drinking water.

What are potential health effects from lead?

Lead poisoning often displays no outward symptoms; however, irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain are possible signs to look for. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short-term exposure. Reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits are associated with blood levels less than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in children.[1] Therefore, there is no safe level for lead to be present in the blood of children.[2] Individuals will adsorb more lead if they have poor nutrition than those with better diets.

Can a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter be used to detect lead in drinking water?

No. There have been some misconceptions around TDS Meters. These meters cannot measure lead specifically; they detect the conductivity directly related to the concentration of combined total dissolved solids such as minerals, salts and metals. The typical sample of tap water in the U.S. contains approximately 350 parts per million (ppm) of TDS[3], which, as a whole does not on its own indicate a health concern and in many cases is used as a means to enhance taste of water.  Lead concentration is found 1000 times lower at the parts per billion (ppb) level, and is too small to be detected without sophisticated instrumentation. Moreover, because TDS meters don’t measure individual ions, lead cannot be detected on its own.

Where can I go to get my water tested?

Water testing should be done be a certified testing laboratory.[4] WQA strongly recommends water testing be conducted at each point of use in accordance with appropriate sampling procedures. The water should be checked after a period of disuse before a specific water treatment product is selected. Water conditions can change, so the water should be tested both before a treatment product has been installed and at regular intervals following installation. Studies have shown the reported levels of lead found in some Flint, MI water results are higher than conditions under which the manufacturer set the replacement recommendations for filters in published manuals. A list of certified labs in Michigan can be found here.

How do I maintain a filter once it is installed?

Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and contact the manufacturer to confirm usage and capacity. To ensure the manufacturer can provide the most accurate recommendations, have test results for lead and iron on hand for review.

Where do I find a product certified for lead reduction?

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited entities offering product certification include: WQA’s Product Certification Program, NSF International, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and Underwriters Laboratory. All of these certifiers have product listings. To find products certified by WQA for lead reduction, click here. Contact information for local professionals and manufacturers of certified products can also be found wqa.org.

PADEP pipeline task force gives 184 recommendations

Note Our Work – Email blast  from PIOGA

A state task force on natural gas pipelines is making 184 recommendations touching on everything from location of pipelines to emergency response plans, all designed to promote “responsible” pipeline development in Pennsylvania. The 335-page document, crafted by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force, has been posted online for public review.

“It is important to remember that the report is not meant to be the final word,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley, who chaired the task force. “When we present our report to the governor in February 2016, I anticipate that the next step will be to determine the feasibility and implementation strategies for each recommendation.”

The 48-member task force was created in May by Governor Tom Wolf to develop policies, guidelines and tools to assist in pipeline development, operation and maintenance.

Recommendations in the draft were assembled by delegates from sectors affected by pipeline development, Quigley noted, including agriculture, communities, environmentalists, cultural resource advocates, industry officials, government agencies and emergency responders.

That lengthy list of recommendations starts with “educate landowners on pipeline development issues.” Other recommendations:

  • Implement full-time environmental inspections during pipeline construction.
  • Monitor water quality during construction.
  • Establish planning coordination between county agencies and pipeline developers.
  • Require pipeline abandonment plans.
  • Standardize emergency response plans and provide 911 addresses for pipeline-related facilities.
  • Do not locate pipelines parallel to waterways within their 100-year floodways.
  • Conduct early outreach with affected communities.
  • Minimize impact on local roads.
  • Create various statewide bodies and processes, including an all-region DEP pipeline review committee, a statewide pipeline information center for the public, and a DEP design manual for pipeline construction.

A 30-day public comment period on the draft report will run through December 14. [Read more]

Please note – there is no assumed responsibility associated with Pipeline Construction for Private Well Impacts – therefore it is important to document baseline conditions for your existing water sources and water wells.  Primary items of concern are aesthetic water quality issues, future methane and other gas releases, spills, local disturbances, discolored water, and related contaminants. The Know Your H20? App for Baseline Testing in PA should help.

New Tools and Courses

Know Your H20 Phone App and Database Search
Citizen Scientists – The Online Water Quality Index Calculator is Available.
Training Courses on Natural Gas Development and Environmental Concerns
Stream Restoration, Wetlands, and Water Resources Management 

Actions:

  1. If you have any testing done as part of this action, please consider releasing this data to the Citizen Groundwater and Surface Water Database.  Fill out the attached form and mail the data to the following address:
    Mr. Brian Oram, PG
    Keystone Clean Water Team
    15 Hillcrest Drive
    Dallas, PA 18612
    Please note- if you have baseline testing done already you may have some information on the level of surfactants in the water if you had a MBAS test done.
  2. Informational Screening Testing – Get your water screened for water contamination including isopropanol – Informational Screening Water Kit (Not Certified) Covers about 200 parameters, plus a review of any predrilling data – Only $ 275.00.  Email
  3. Drinking Water Guide for Pennsylvania.