Lead Concerns in the Public Water Supply
Lead in the water supply in Flint, Michigan has been in the news and is the subject of recent Congressional hearings. You might be wondering, “Could what happened in Flint happen in the Otay Water District?
What Happened –
In Flint, there are an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 homes with lead service lines that carry water from Flint’s water mains to homes and businesses. Lead service lines are the primary source of high lead levels in Flint’s drinking water.
When Flint switched its water source in April 2014 from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the Flint River, state and city officials failed to take into account the impact that new water source would have on the city’s existing lead service lines and put in place proper treatment techniques for the new water supply. These omissions resulted in corrosion of the city’s aging underground pipes and in lead leaching from those old lead service lines into homes.
Otay Water District –
None of Otay’s 730 miles of water mains or service lines to nearly 50,000 homes and businesses are made of lead.
Under the 1991 Lead and Copper Rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires water suppliers to collect water samples from customers’ homes and the testing of that water for lead and copper.
In the most recent series of tests, taken from a sample of 73 homes in Otay’s service area, lead and copper levels were well below EPA standards and 90 percent of water samples had lead levels below the detection limit of one part per billion. One part per billion is equivalent to 1 second in 32 years or 1 drop of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool.
The findings of these tests are reported to you in your annual water quality report mailed to your home or business before July 1 of each year.
Otay Water District encourages its customers to learn more about their water supply, including where your water comes from, what it contains, as well as the challenges suppliers face in bringing clean and reliable water to your home or business. To view your Consumer Confidence Report, please click on the attached link: www.otaywater.gov/consumerconfidence or contact us directly if you would like a copy mailed to you.
If you would like to learn more about lead concerns in drinking water, click on the following link to visit the EPA’s website for basic information about lead in drinking water: