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Friday, February 12, 2016
Frequently Asked Questions about Lead in Drinking Water
How does lead enter into the drinking water supply?
Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of corrosion or the erosion of materials in the water distribution system and household plumbing which contain lead. Water that is not properly chemically balanced will cause the piping in the distribution system and home plumbing to corrode or rust and absorb metal such as lead into the water. Adequate corrosion control provided during the treatment of the water seals the inside of the piping preventing the corrosion from occurring.

What are potential health effects from lead?
Lead poisoning often shows no symptoms; however, signs such as irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or stomach pain could occur. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short- term exposure.

Is Columbus Water Works’ (CWW) water safe to drink and use?
Yes, our water meets all regulatory mandates. CWW has never had a violation of the EPA Lead and Copper regulations.

How does CWW ensure the water delivered to customers does not contain lead?
Columbus Water Works has a long history of providing sound and reliable corrosion control to the drinking water provided to the residents of Columbus and Fort Benning. As part of corrosion control and inspection program, we conduct regularly scheduled lead and copper testing, in accordance with the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).  Adequate corrosion control provided during the treatment of the water seals the inside of the piping preventing the corrosion from occurring. The results of our testing have indicated that lead has not been detected in the treated water leaving the water treatment plant. 

Another important factor is that CWW does not have lead service lines. Lead service lines were more commonly used in the northern states in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The primary potential source of lead in Columbus is from old lead-based solder used in the joints of residential copper plumbing. Corrosion control reduces the opportunity for this lead to leach into the water within the home.  As reported in CWW’s most recent Water Quality Report to our customers, CWW’s water is safe and the lead detected in home plumbing meets the requirements of the EPA Lead and Copper regulations. 

How can I find out more? 
Test results for regulated contaminants that have been detected in the treated water and the level at which they were found for the preceding calendar year are published annually in our Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report), which is distributed by mail to all our customers.  To view a copy of this report, click here.

Still have questions?  Click here for more information.
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