The Town of Pinedale staff tested tap water from two preschools in Town. Both preschools had lead levels below the detection level of the testing method.
The Pinedale Roundup submitted the following questions regarding the Town’s water system:
Please provide answers - or grant permission to the person with the town of Pinedale who knows - to the following questions.
What are the addresses of the 20 locations that are currently being tested by the town?
The people volunteered to let the town test their homes and it is not appropriate to further inconvenience them. They have been provided the test results. The two that had elevated results ( 1 school and one home ) are working through the situation. It turns out the house had a bad faucet that was causing the problem. It has been replaced.
What criteria are used to determine which locations are tested?
All homes tested this year were selected using the EPA’s Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 criteria, which is based on the age of the home. Home inspections were completed and documented to confirm the plumbing materials in each of these homes. These locations were approved by the EPA prior to testing.
Were any of the structures at those locations built within the last 20 years?
All homes tested were constructed in 1988 or prior, per EPA requirements.
Are all of those structures older than 30 years?
How many total service lines does the town provide water to in town?
We serve approximately 1140 service lines.
In light of the fact that the town went 18 months without an approved CCT in place, does the town plan to broaden the scope of its testing (not specifically for the EPA's sake, but for the reassurance of residents and the town)?
The sodium silicate feed was on & off intermittently until December of 2015, so it was less than a year that the sodium silicate was not used. The Mayor and Council have agreed to provide free lead tests to homes that meet the EPA’s criteria for homes that could have lead in the premise plumbing (those built in prior to 1989). Details of the testing program are being worked out and will be posted on the town web as soon as the program is approved.
Will preschools be tested, given the increased susceptibility for young children?
The preschools/day cares in town have been contacted and scheduled for a free lead test.
Should parents have their children tested for lead?
See EPA suggestions published on our website and in the Public Notice. If someone has questions regarding medical testing they should consult a Doctor.
Will the town test households who request it? If not, why not? If so, is there an associated cost to the homeowner?
See above. In light of a parent reporting that a Jackson physician said something, unsolicited, to the effect of, "Oh, you're from Pinedale? Your child needs to be tested for lead."
Did the town send out a public notice to the medical professionals to test for lead?
No, town personnel are not qualified to direct physicians to do tests.
Has the town sent public notices out to anybody, other than what's on the website?
The Town published a public notice on its website, in the newspaper, on Pinedale Online, and on the radio, meeting and exceeding the EPA notification requirements.
Should people expect any further information?
We have posted information on our website and it will be updated as more information becomes available.
What's the town's message to residents who are upset by the apparent lapse in judgment by the town and the potential health risks that lapse poses?
The town water does not contain lead and has never contained lead in recent history. We did not receive a violation for lead in the water. We have passed all EPA lead tests since 2009. The town did fail a 2009 round of lead testing. However, it is important to point out the lead was not in our water system, it was in the private plumbing inside two houses.
- 2002: Action Level Exceedance: Lead & Copper exceeded the 90th percentile lead = 0.017 mg/L and copper = 1.49 mg/L
- 2003: Lead and copper not reported to EPA.
- 2004: Lead and copper passed 90th percentile; lead = 0.015 mg/L, copper = 0.71 mg/L.
- 2006: Action Level Exceedance: Copper exceeded the 90th percentile. lead = 0.008 mg/L and copper = 1.62 mg/L
- 2009: Action Level Exceedance: Lead exceeded the 90th percentile; lead = 0.056 mg/L and copper = 0.46 mg/L
- 2010: Lead and copper passed 90th percentile; lead = 0.015 mg/L, copper = 0.14 mg/L.
- 2013: Town failed to conduct lead and copper testing.
- 2014: Town received an administrative order from EPA for not testing lead and copper in 2013
- 2015: Town passed lead and copper testing. 90th percentile; lead = 0.008 mg/L and copper = 0.23 mg/L
- 2016: Town passed lead and copper testing. 90th percentile; lead = 0.014 mg/L and copper = 0.22 mg/L
We are doing a thorough investigation into what led us into the situation. As soon as the investigation is complete, the details will be presented.
- Flush your pipes before drinking:
The more time water has been sitting in your home's pipes, the more lead it may contain. Anytime the water in a particular faucet water until it becomes as cold as it will get. This could take as little as five to thirty seconds if there has been recent heavy water use such as showering or toilet flushing. Otherwise, it could take two minutes or longer. Your water utility will inform you if longer flushing times are needed to respond to local conditions.
- Only use cold water for eating and drinking:
Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. Run cold water until it becomes cold as it can get.Note that boiling water will NOT get rid of lead contamination.
Use water filters or treatment devices: Many water filters and water treatment devices are certified by independent organizations for effective lead reduction. Devices that are not designed to remove lead will not work. Verify the claims of manufacturers by checking with independent certifying organizations that provide lists of treatment devices they have certified.
This information was taken from the EPA website. For more information, please visit their website epa.gov.
The Town of Pinedale recently tested lead and copper levels at ten customer water taps as required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule. These sites were selected because they contain copper service lines and were built when lead solder was used in plumbing. The EPA requires that single family dwellings be included as top priority sample points and does not require testing in schools. However, for the safety of our community, the Town asked to include the high school and BOCES building in the testing since these facilities receive high use by children and were constructed when lead solder was commonly used. The EPA approved the inclusion of these educational centers and the selected eight residential properties. Of the ten test sites, the copper results were all less than the EPA action level of 1.3 parts per million. Two of the ten water taps tested, including the high school and a residential property, had elevated lead levels in the water which exceeded the EPA action level of 15 parts per billion. the source of this lead is isolated within the plumbing of these properties.
Neither our water source (Fremont Lake) nor our distribution system contains lead or copper. Lead may be present in private service lines which were plumbed with lead solder and/or lead containing fittings and fixtures. Lead found in tap water typically comes from corrosion of these older fixtures and from lead solder containing copper pipes. If the water sits stagnant in these lines for several hours, the lead may leach into the water and potentially become consumed.
The Town is working with the EPA, the high school and residential property with elevated lead level results to help isolate and mitigate the lead levels in these service lines. We are also testing additional sites per the EPA request. If you are concerned about lead in your water the Town recommends that you have your water privately tested for lead by a certified lab.
Please refer to the Sublette County School District website for additional information regarding school district water testing.
Below are some useful references with additional information about lead:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
National Sanitary Foundation, the Public Health and Safety Organization