When water stands in lead pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several hours, the lead may dissolve into your drinking water. If you have lead pipes or plumbing that contains lead, the first water drawn from the tap in the morning, or later in the afternoon if the water has not been used all day, can contain high levels of lead.
A high level of lead in drinking water can cause health concerns, particularly in children. That's why SCDHEC works to ensure that public water systems adhere to drinking water quality standards and regulations. Lead is rarely in drinking water when it leaves the treatment plant; however, it can seep into the water from old plumbing along the way.
EPA developed the initial rule in 1991 and under the regulation, provides action levels for Lead (15 Parts per Billion) and Copper (1.3 Parts per Million) for more than 10% of the customer taps sampled. Exceedance of these limits requires the Drinking Water System to take further action to control corrosion. Corrosion of common plumbing fixtures and materials are the leading cause of Lead and Copper leaching into the Water System.
In the latest 2021 Revision, EPA took further action implementing the Lead and Copper Rules to protect public health. The requirements require increased testing at Schools and Child Care Facilities. The goal here is to protect children because they are more at risk of lead exposure than adults are. Another goal is to increase knowledge of Lead and Copper to the general public to empower them. With knowledge, people can help make sound decisions to help remove Lead and Copper from Water systems. Eventually, the ultimate objective is to remove any possibility of these contaminants being in your drinking water!
What is Bamberg Board of Public Works doing to prevent any contaminants from affecting our water?
Did You Know?! Bamberg Board of Public Works has been complying with EPA’s Lead and Copper rule since the inception of the rule. We add Soda Ash Chemical to the Source Water to increase the pH of the water. This makes the acidic nature of the water and makes it basic, therefore, decreasing the likelihood of Lead or Copper leaching into the drinking water. For many years, we have been successful in this program. So successful in fact, we’ve had reduced monitoring to every three years based off our sample results.
Under the new revisions, Bamberg Board of Public Works must comply with several new things. We will begin monitoring lead and copper at our school and child care facilities per the new regulation. We even must gather inventory of every service to determine what the material is made of. Not an easy undertaking! If found to contain lead, the service must be replaced. However, we have taken the initiative to complete this task with one thing in mind. Yours and your neighbor’s safety. We realize the importance for safe drinking water for our consumers and we will strive to provide Quality on Tap!
While this explanation is brief, the actual LCCR is quite expansive and detailed. We urge anyone who would like to know more. Please visit SC DHEC’s website https://scdhec.gov/environment/your-home/drinking-water/lead-drinking-water to learn more. And of course, call 803.245.5128 if you would like to speak to us regarding Lead and Copper!