Lead found in Duncannon Borough drinking water

The Environmental Working Group reported Tuesday that dangerous levels of chromium-6 contaminate tap water consumed by millions of Americans. This is the carcinogenic chemical featured in the true story turned Hollywood movie "Erin Brockovich,"

The Environmental Working Group reported Tuesday that dangerous levels of chromium-6 contaminate tap water consumed by millions of Americans. This is the carcinogenic chemical featured in the true story turned Hollywood movie "Erin Brockovich,"

DUNCANNON, Pa. — Recent drinking water quality monitoring conducted by the Borough of Duncannon has found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes/buildings in the Borough of Duncannon.  Even though the primary sources of lead exposure are through lead-based paint and lead contaminated dust or soil, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 10 to 20 percent of a person’s potential exposure to lead may come from drinking water.

The Borough of Duncannon is concerned about the health of their residents because lead can cause serious health problems if too  much enters your body from drinking water or other sources.  Health concerns can be greater for pregnant women and children under 6.  It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body.  Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in kids.  Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults.  Lead is stored in the bones and can be released late in life.  During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which can sometimes affect brain development.

Duncannon regularly tests water at several points in the Borough as part of its routine monitoring and quality control efforts. During a recent test, high levels of lead and copper were detected in two of the 10 locations tested.  The state Department of Environmental Protection has been notified and is requiring more tests to be done, to ensure the problem is being taken care of.
The Borough will also be taking steps to help identify potential sources of lead, including a planned survey of its customers to help identify plumbing of the type and age that are more likely to have lead pipes or lead solder. The Borough also plans to continue replacing any old pipes or fittings found in its system which might be a potential source of lead.

There are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in your water:
• Run your water to flush out lead. Run water for 15-30 seconds to flush lead from interior plumbing or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking, if it hasn’t been used for several hours. [It is likely that systems with lead service lines will need to collect data to determine the appropriate flushing time for lead service lines.]’
• Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula.
• Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
• Look for alternative drinking water sources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter.
• Test your water for lead. A list of DEP accredited labs is available on the Borough’s website  Copies of that list are also available in person at Borough Hall, or by calling us at 717-834-4311.
• Get your child’s blood tested. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about exposure.
• Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead.

The Borough also wants their residents to know that this is not a Flint, Michigan type situation.  Duncannon does not have lead pipes and lead was detected in just two of the 10 locations sampled.

Call the Borough of Duncannon at 717-834-4311 or visit their website to find out how you can get your water tested for lead.