IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LEAD IN YOUR DRINKING WATER

Monday, November 20, 2017

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LEAD IN YOUR DRINKING WATER
The Bloomfield Water Department found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes/buildings. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Please read this information closely to see what you can do to reduce lead in your drinking water.
The results of Bloomfield’s sampling are provided at the end of this notice and may also be viewed at the following link:
https://www9.state.nj.us/DEP_WaterWatch_public/JSP/PBCUSamples.jsp?tinws...
The 90th percentile value for our water system was 16 parts per billion (0.016 MG/L) which is greater than the lead action level of 15 parts per billion.
Health effects of Lead
Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones, and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain development.
Sources of Lead
Lead is a common metal found in the environment. Drinking water is one possible source of lead exposure. The main sources of lead exposure are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust or soil, and some plumbing materials. In addition, lead can be found in certain types of pottery, pewter, brass fixtures, food, and cosmetics. Other sources include exposure in the work place and exposure form certain hobbies.
Lead is unusual among drinking water contaminants in that it seldom occurs naturally in water supplies like rivers and lakes. Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and household plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome-brass faucets, and in some cases, pipes made of lead that connect houses and buildings to water mains (service lines).
New brass faucets, fittings, and valves, including those advertised as “lead-free”, may contribute lead to drinking water. The law currently allows end-use brass fixtures, such as faucets, with up to 0.25 percent lead to be labeled as “lead free”. However, prior to January 4, 2014, “lead free” allowed up to 8 percent lead content of the wetted surfaces of plumbing products including those labeled National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified. Consumers should be aware of this when choosing fixtures and take appropriate precautions.
EPA estimates that up to 20 percent of a person’s potential exposure to lead may come from drinking water. Infants who consume mostly formula mixed with lead-containing water can receive 40 to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water.
When water stands in Lead pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several hours or more, the lead may dissolve into your drinking water. This means 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 fairly high levels of lead.
Steps you can take to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water
1. Run the water to flush out lead. Let the water run from the tap before using it for drinking or cooking any time the water in a faucet has gone unused for more than six hours. The longer the water resides in plumbing the more lead it may contain. Flushing the tap means running the cold-water faucet for about 15-30 seconds. Although toilet flushing or showering flushes water through a portion of the plumbing system, you still need to flush the water in each faucet before using it for drinking or cooking. Flushing tap water is a simple and inexpensive measure you can take to protect your health. It usually uses less than one gallon of water.
2. Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap. Hot water can dissolve lead more quickly than cold water. If you need hot water, draw water from the cold tap and then heat it. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
3. Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
4. Look for alternative sources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter. Be sure the filter is approved to reduce lead or contact NSF International at 1-800-NSF-8010 or www.nsf.org for information on performance standards for water filters. Be sure to maintain and replace a filter device in accordance with the manufacturer.
5. Get your child tested. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about lead exposure. Your family doctor or pediatrician can perform a blood test for lead and provide you with information about the health effects of lead.
For more information, call us at 973-680-4009 or visit our website www.bloomfieldtwpnj.com. You can also e-mail the Township Water Operator at plasek@bloomfieldtwpnj.com. For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home/building and the health effects of lead, visit EPA’s website at, http://www.epa.gov/lead call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD or Safe Drinking Water Act hotline at 1-800-426-4791, or contact your health care provider.
Test your water for lead. Call us at 973-680-4009 to find out how to get your water tested for lead. The Bloomfield Water Department through the Bloomfield Health Department will review your request and either provide the testing free of charge or, depending upon demand, coordinate with you directly to arrange for lead sampling at a minimum charge to you.
Contact us at 973-680-4009 to obtain a translated copy of the public education materials or to request assistance in the appropriate language.
This notice is being sent to you by the Bloomfield Water Department, 1 Municipal Plaza, Bloomfield NJ 07003; New Jersey Public Water Supply (NJPWS) Identification Number NJ0702001.
Date of Publication: Nov. 16, 2017


Township of Bloomfield Announces Results of Lead Testing, Steps for Residents to Reduce Risk of Exposure

Mayor Venezia to hold Public Meeting to discuss findings

BLOOMFIELD, NJ-- The Township of Bloomfield is announcing that recent tests of 35 homes found that four homes exhibited elevated lead levels, placing the township above state and federal lead guidelines. The tests showed a 90th percentile value of 16 parts per billion liters, which is above the federal lead action level of 15 parts per billion.

Mayor Michael Venezia will be holding a Public Meeting on Thursday, November 16th at 7:00pm at Bloomfield High School Media Center, 2nd Floor, to discuss the findings and how residents can reduce their risk of lead exposure. Township engineers and officials from the Health Department will be on hand to answer any questions.

The lead testing was performed in recent months and looked at lead levels in individual homes, not in the township’s water system. NJ Department of Environmental Protection mandates require municipalities to issue public notices if tests show elevated lead levels. Township officials will continue to test lead levels over the next year and will be taking several steps to inform residents of the situation, including a public notice that will be mailed to all water system users.

“The Township of Bloomfield and the Water Department take these findings very seriously and we are working to identify any potential issues in our water system,” said Paul D. Lasek, Township Engineer. “We will continue to test our system over the next twelve months and will be working with the State Department of Environmental Protection to respond to these findings.”

No cases of lead poisoning from contaminated water exposure have been reported in Bloomfield, and township schools were recently tested for lead and levels were below legal limits. The Bloomfield Health Department is encouraging residents to take steps to reduce their risk of lead exposure by flushing their faucets for 15-30 seconds before drinking water and using lead certified water filters.

“Lead exposure in drinking water is a serious issue and residents should be taking steps to reduce their risk,” said Karen Lore, Bloomfield Director of Health and Welfare. “Running water for 15-30 seconds before drinking, using cold water only for cooking and using water filtration devices are all simple things we can all do to make sure our families are protected.”

The Township is offering free lead tests to any resident concerned about their home’s lead level. Residents can schedule a test or get additional information by calling 973-680-4009.

For any additional information please contact Philip Swibinski at 201-864-0600 or philip.swibinski@vmmi.net.

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