Last year, WFYI.com broke the news that more than 55 schools across six separate counties tested positive for traces of lead in their water. This hazard may have not been discovered if it weren’t for the voluntary Indiana Finance Authority’s (IFA) Lead Sampling Program initiated last summer among Central Indiana schools. Although it has been several months since the happening, many parents still have lingering concerns about lead poisoning and the potential implications to their child’s health as a result of exposure.
Continue reading to learn what solutions were used to correct the elevated levels of lead in these schools, as well as, what you should do if you suspect your drinking water might be contaminated.
Heightened Levels of Lead
Overall, the Indiana Finance Authority’s (IFA) Lead Sampling Program tested 915 schools. The counties that were affected by the heightened levels of lead in their water included Boone, Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, and Shelby County. Their water tests revealed that their lead concentrations were above the EPA recommendation of 15 parts per billion.
When the Lead Sampling Program began, results showed that out of the 57,000 statewide-collected samples, 61 percent of them had at least one plumbing fixture that tested positive for raised levels of lead. According to an Indiana Finance Authority spokesperson, Erica Walker, many of the fixtures were water fountains. Furthermore, tests showed that 8% of fixtures per school were over 15ppb, and 85% of them were faucets and bubblers, while 5% were kitchen kettles.
How the Contamination Was Resolved
There were several methods implemented to correct the concentrations of lead in the water supplies. Primary methods included flushing infrequently used fixtures, abating stagnant water, cleaning and replacing faucet aerators and water cooler strainers, changing water filters, replacing service lines, replacing old water fountains, improving routine plumbing plans, retesting water, and investigating upstream sources of lead. You can learn more about the 2018 Lead Sampling Program, here. To learn more about lead and the EPA Federal Lead Action Plan, go here.
Lead in Drinking Water
But how does water become contaminated with lead? The answer is from high levels of lead in soil and underground pipes. Although many modern underground piping systems are made from copper, the older pipes that carry water to residential and commercial copper pipes are still made from lead. The cost and the time needed to replace all old lead pipe works would be very high, so most jurisdiction neglect the notion. This can also contribute to high levels of lead in drinking water.
Testing Your Water for Lead
If you suspect that your water is contaminated with unsafe levels of lead or other hazardous contaminates, contact a professional soft water company for water testing. One of the best methods for protecting yourself and your household from lead contamination is to install a reverse osmosis water filtration system. This is a long-term solution against lead contamination, and is proven effective for preventing any further contamination. Not only are RO systems effective, they are very affordable! Simply contact your local soft water company for information about getting started.
Water Purification in Indianapolis
Contact Soft Water By Weilhammer Plumbing at 317-749-0949 for professional and affordable water purification in Indianapolis, Indiana. We provide cost-effective solutions for hard water and water purification, including water filtration, reverse osmosis, and water softening for both residential and commercial properties.