Federal regulators have joined with West Virginia officials in examining water service lines in Clarksburg for high levels of lead in drinking water.
Sampling at several homes in the area showed lead levels above health safety limit set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“The situation in Clarksburg is cause for concern, and as a precaution we encourage all families living in homes built before 1950 to use bottled water for drinking and to have lead tested in children under six. years, “said Dr Ayne Amjad, head of public health. DHHR Office of Public Health Officer and Commissioner. âTogether with our federal partner, the Environmental Protection Agency, we will ensure safe drinking water for residents of Clarksburg. In addition, the State undertakes to finance laboratory analysis of water samples for the lead content. “
The issue of lead service lines was first identified by staff of the Office of Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program during environmental lead assessments conducted in homes in children diagnosed with high blood lead levels. Water samples at several homes served by the Clarksburg water supply system were above the EPA action level (15 parts per billion).
The Clarksburg water system will implement a corrective action plan that will include additional sampling, increased frequency of monitoring, installation of a corrosion control system and an alternate source of potable water and / or point-of-use filters for homeowners where high lead levels are known from existing sample results and the existence of known or suspected lead service lines.
“The EPA is committed to tackling lead in drinking water across the country to ensure the protection of communities like Clarksburg,” said interim EPA Mid-Atlantic regional administrator Diana Esher. âTackling lead in drinking water requires partnerships, and the EPA is committed to working with West Virginia to improve public health. “
Parents of children under the age of six who live in older homes served by the Clarksburg water system should discuss the risks of lead exposure with their child’s pediatrician to determine if a blood test. Preventive blood lead is necessary. Additional steps that all consumers can take include flushing water lines used for drinking and cooking, and using bottled water to prepare formula. Experts warn that boiling water does not remove lead from water.
Questions regarding the Clarksburg water supply system and the risk of exposure to lead in water should be directed to Bob Davis, Chief Operator of the Clarksburg Water Supply System, at 304-624-5467 , ext. 121.
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