Risks of Lead in Drinking Water

Sammamish Plateau Water takes your water quality seriously.  With the recent discovery of problems with lead in other water systems, we have information about our water that you might find helpful.

·       Is there lead in Sammamish Plateau water?   Lead is not found in our source water.   It is sometimes found in in water systems where corrosive water interacts with pipes and plumbing components that contain lead. Unlike older water systems, our distribution system is newer and was constructed using materials that do not contain lead.

 

·       We treat our water using corrosion control facilities at many of our wells to comply with the Lead and Copper Rule requirements.  Our treatment systems help mitigate the effects of corrosive water interacting with metallic piping material.  We maintain the water at a higher pH level, which limits corrosion of your home plumbing components. 

·       Could I have lead in my home plumbing?  Lead is found in older home plumbing systems, and can be released when corrosive water interacts with older pipes or plumbing fixtures.  We do not have the ability to manage the pipes and fixtures in your home, so if you have lead pipes in your home, you may need to take extra measures such as flushing your pipes before using water.

·       Levels of lead in Sammamish Plateau Water meet all current state and federal levels. We are required to test for lead once every three years, and will conduct complete lead testing in 2016.  There have been no exceedances of lead to date in our water test results.

 

·       There are a few simple steps you can take in your home to reduce the risk of lead in your drinking water:

If water has been standing in pipes for over 2 hours, flush out the pipes by running the taop for 30 seconds to 3 minutes.  To save water, use the water you flush out for watering plants or doing dishes.

Always drink water from the COLD water tap.  Lead dissolves more quickly in hot water.

Do not make baby formula or other drinks or food for children from the HOT water tap.  Start with water taken from the cold water faucet (after flushing) and warm it if necessary.

If you are making plumbing changes, be sure to select low-lead or no-lead fixtures.  As of January 2014, a new federal law is in effect, reducing the amount of lead in plumbing fixtures from 8 percent to 0.25 percent.  Manufacturers are already offering faucets that meet the new standard.

Can I get my water tested for lead?  If you still have concerns and want to get your home water tested, contact a certified lab in your area.  The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) is responsible for certifying labs in Washington.  The DOE website lists labs certified to test water.  Analysis costs range from $25 to $50.  Please contact the labs directly for sample collection procedures and prices.  It is advisable to have one of these labs test your water rather than using a kit purchased from a hardware store.  

If you have additional questions, please contact us at (425) 392-6256.

Links for more information:

Governor Inslee directs WA Department of Health to increase efforts to reduce lead in drinking water 

Washington Department of Health Lead Press Briefing May 2, 2016

Seattle Public Utilities Water Quality Information about Lead

Tacoma Public Utilities Lead Water Quality Information


Department of Ecology Certified Water Testing Labs