11/28/05 — Lead-testing project planned for city water

View Archive

Lead-testing project planned for city water

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 28, 2005 1:47 PM

State health officials will begin a lead testing project this week on Goldsboro's public water system.

After seeing lead contamination in drinking water in another community, officials developed this project to take samples from residences in Goldsboro and five other communities to determine the prevalence of lead contamination from household plumbing or fixtures within each drinking water system.

Health Director James Roosen estimated about 100 homes in Goldsboro would be included in the testing process.

"It's determined by the age of the house and whether or not there could be lead in the plumbing," he told the Board of Health at last week's meeting. In general, homes tested will be on the Goldsboro city water supply and were built in the 1970s, he said.

"(That was a time) when lead was commonly used, as lead was phased out of paint," he explained. "What we're trying to do is sample those homes where we have had lead problems and not compared the problems with lead in the wall paint."

Starting Friday, water sample containers will be sent to residents randomly selected to provide a geographically representative evaluation of the local water system. A bottle for collecting the water will be attached, Roosen said.

To be effective, the samples need to be drawn from the kitchen faucet in the morning before running any other faucet in the house. State or county public health personnel will collect the sample.

Goldsboro was not selected because of evidence that excessive lead had been found in household plumbing in the water, but because it is one of the largest of 11 jurisdictions that have recently switched water disinfection methods, officials said.

"Since the city of Goldsboro converted from free chlorine disinfectant to chloramines disinfectant in 2000, testing for lead in drinking water from customer homes has met the federal Environmental Protection Agency standards for lead," said Karen Brashear, public utilities director for the city.