Tualatin finds higher lead levels in eight homes
The City of Tualatin recently found that eight homes tested in the city for lead came back higher than the Environmental Protection Agency's action level of 15 parts per billion.
In April, the city conducted its six-month lead test on 67 high-risk homes and discovered the findings at that time, according to city officials.
When more than 10 percent of these homes are above the action level, the city is required to notify the public and implement corrective actions. To help the Tualatin community reduce risk for lead exposure, the city provides the following answers to questions:
What is the city doing to lower risk for lead exposure from the drinking water?
The City of Tualatin purchases its water from Portland. The Portland Water Bureau is in the process of improving Corrosion Control Treatment that will be in place no later than Spring 2022.
The City's water system does not contain lead parts. Lead in water is mainly from home or building plumbing, such as lead solder or leaded brass fixtures. When water stands for several hours or more in plumbing systems that contain lead, the lead may dissolve into your drinking water. Homes at risk for the highest levels of lead are those built prior to 1985.
What Are the Health Effects of Lead?
Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. The greatest risk of exposure is to infants, young children and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children.
How Can I Reduce My Exposure to Lead?
Run your water to flush out leadBefore using water for drinking or cooking, run the water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, or until it becomes colder from each tap when it has not been used for several hours. This flushes water which may contain lead from the pipes.
Use cold, fresh water for cooking and preparing baby formulaDo not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
Test your water for leadThe Lead Line provides a no-cost, in-home lead in water sample kit for residential customers along with additional information about reducing exposure to lead. This is available through the Multnomah County Health Department to all Portland Water Bureau wholesale water customers, including the City of Tualatin. If you would like to have your home tested for lead, visit leadline.org or call 503-988-4000.
Consider using a filterIf you have elevated levels of lead in water, you may consider purchasing a water filter to remove it. Be sure it reduces lead - not all filters do. Always maintain and replace a filtration device in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions to protect water quality.
Do not boil water to remove leadBoiling water will not reduce lead.
Test your child for leadAsk your physician or visit https://multco.us/health/lead-poisoning-prevention to find out how to have your child tested for lead. A blood lead level test is the only way to know if your child is being exposed to lead.
Regularly clean your faucet aeratorParticles containing lead from solder or household plumbing can become trapped in your faucet aerator. Regular cleaning every few months will remove these particles and reduce your exposure to lead.
Consider buying low-lead fixturesAs of January 2014, all pipes, fittings and fixtures are required to contain less than 0.25 percent lead. When replacing plumbing fixtures, look for those with the lowest lead content.
City of Tualatin Water Quality Program: 503-691-3095
Request a testing kit or for more information: Lead Line Phone Number: (503) 988-4000
National Lead Information Center: (800) 424-LEAD (800-424-5323)