Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Lead Copper Rule for Community Water Systems

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Lead Copper Rule for Community Water Systems Form 20681a

Lead Exceedance Public Education Requirements FOR COMMUNITIES

The CITY OF RANGER public water system (PWS) found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in the building(s) or residences during the September 12, 2016 Lead and Copper sampling. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Please read this information closely to see what you can do to reduce lead in your drinking water.

This notice is being sent to you by the CITY OF RANGER PWS Texas State Water System ID # 0670004 on November 21, 2016.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the CITY OF RANGER PWS are concerned about lead in your drinking water. Although most sinks had low levels of lead in the drinking water, some had high lead levels above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb), or 0.015 milligrams of lead per liter of water (mg/L).

Please note, this is not a violation under federal or state law, it does however, prompt the CITY OF RANGER PWS to post Lead Public Education and have a program in place to minimize lead in your drinking water. This program may include adding corrosion control treatment, source water treatment, and if necessary replacing lead service lines. If you have any questions about how we are carrying out the requirements of the lead regulation, please give us a call at (254) 6473522. This document explains the simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by reducing your exposure to lead in drinking water while in the CITY OF RANGER PWS homes(s).

Health Effects of Lead

Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. 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. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. 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 it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain development.

Sources of Lead

Lead is a common metal found in the environment. Drinking water is one possible source of lead exposure. The main sources of lead exposure are lead- based paint and lead-contaminated dust or soil, and some plumbing materials.
In addition, lead can be found in certain types of pottery, pewter, brass fixtures, food, and cosmetics. Other sources include exposure in the work place and exposure from certain hobbies (lead can be carried on clothing or shoes). Lead is
found in some toys, some playground equipment, and some children’s metal jewelry.

Lead in drinking water, although rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning can significantly increase a person's total lead exposure, particularly the exposure of infants who drink baby formulas and concentrated juices that are mixed with water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that drinking water can make up 20 percent or more of a person's total exposure to lead. Lead is unusual among drinking water contaminants in that it seldom occurs naturally in water supplies like rivers and lakes. Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion, or the wearing away of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and household plumbing. These materials include lead- based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome plated brass faucets, and in some cases, pipes made of lead that connect your house to the water main (service lines). In 1986, Congress banned the use of lead solder containing greater than 0.2% lead, and in 2011 restricted the lead content of faucets, pipes and other plumbing materials to 0.25%. When water stands in lead pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several hours or more, the lead may dissolve into your drinking water. This means the first water drawn from the tap in the morning, or later in the afternoon after returning from work or school, can contain fairly high levels of lead.

Steps You Can Take to Reduce Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water

  1. Run 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.

  2. Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Don’t use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.

  3. Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.

  4. Look for alternative sources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter. Read the package to be sure the filter is approved to reduce lead. Be sure to maintain and replace a filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to protect water quality. Contact NSF International at 800-NSF-8010 or NSF website for information on performance standards for water filters.

  5. 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.

What Happened and What is Being Done

Routine sampling was completed in September 2016. Five samples out of 20 exceeded the action level for lead and three out of 20 samples exceeded the action level for copper. The City of Ranger is working with the TCEQ to determine the cause and to implement a corrosive water treatment plan. The City of Ranger will be sampling several times for lead and copper tap water samples and water quality parameter samples during 2017.