EM Warns Residents About Lead Hazards

Nov 2, 2017

Credit East Moline

East Moline is reminding its residents about the dangers of lead in drinking water. That follows test results showing more than 10 per cent of the homes checked this year had elevated levels in their water.

Brianna Huber, chemist at the city's Water Filtration Plant, says tests show East Moline water does not contain lead, so the most likely culprit is at individual homes.

"We have a lot of older homes in East Moline and we know we have a lot of lead service lines. So we just want residents to be aware - if you have a lead service line or if you have older plumbing fixtures, there's a potential that they contain lead and that lead can get into your water."

Credit East Moline

Lead service lines are common in homes built before 1986. So her suggestion for these homeowners is to have their water tested by a laboratory, or hire a plumber to check the service line. 

Huber says there are ways to reduce your possible lead exposure.

"Any time they're going to use water for cooking or drinking, to run the water tap for at least three minutes. What that does is it flushes the contaminated water out of those pipes and it brings in fresh water."

Home water filters can also help, but she says boiling water will not - boiling will have no effect on the lead content. 

Every three years, East Moline is required to take water samples from about 40 homes. And the US EPA mandates remediation measures if more than 10 per cent have high lead levels. Huber says this was the first year the city went above the 10 per cent threshold.