Article courtesy of Sarah Jane Kyle | February 5, 2015 | The Coloradoan | Shared as educational material
A potentially unsafe amount of lead has been found in Berthoud’s drinking water.
The town’s water testing system identified elevated lead and copper levels in seven out of 20 samples, according to a Wednesday release that warned residents of health risks, particularly in pregnant women and young children.
Health effects include damage to the brain and kidneys, red blood cell production and studies linking lead to reduced IQ in children. Fetal brain development can be affected if the mother is exposed to too much lead.
Primary sources for lead in water, according to town of Berthoud, are plumbing materials like copper piping. Plumbing fixtures labeled “National Sanitation Foundation” may have up to 2 percent lead, while those labeled “lead-free” can have up to 8 percent.
Lead is more common in plumbing materials and homes built before 1986, the release stated.
The town will perform 40 samples for lead and copper in the drinking water distribution system as part of a required monitoring plan. Contact the water department, 970-532-2393, to be added to the list of sampling sites.
What to do
Berthoud suggests the following measures to limit lead exposure:
•Run water to flush out lead, catching the water for non-drinking use. Boiling water will not reduce lead
•Use cold water for drinking, cooking and baby formula
•Remove and clean your faucet’s strainer/aerator periodically
•Invest in a home water treatment device
•Replace fixtures containing lead
•Hire an electrician to check your wiring. If grounding wires are attached to your pipes, corrosion could be worse.