Green Bay Water Utility: Some homes have lead in water


GREEN BAY – Green Bay Water Utility wants customers to know–if you’re in an older section of town, you’re at risk for lead contamination.

“Our source water, which is Lake Michigan, and our filter plant, do not have any lead in the water. So, it’s only in the home plumbing and the service lines that the lead is coming into the homes,” said Nancy Quirk, the general manager of the Green Bay Water Utility.

If consumed, lead can cause delayed mental and physical development in children.

The possible contamination is limited to around 1900 homes. That’s only six percent of the city.

Quirk says the city has done its part to start replacing pipes with lead like this one. It’s also flushing hydrants to get rid of lead sediment.

“It’s basically increasing the speed at which the water’s going through the pipe which basically scours the pipe,” said Quirk.

Green Bay Water Utility says homeowners who live in a home built before the 1940s to run their water for at least two minutes every morning.

“There are cases where the water is sitting stagnant for more than six hours. There’s a chance that some lead may leach into the water,” said Quirk.

Contractors say it’s not totally necessary to remove the pipes on your property that might contain lead. The process can be costly.

“Every situation’s a little different, but it’s probably anywhere from 2000 to 10 thousand. It depends on where their valve is,” said Robert Foeller of Ramco Construction Services.

Homeowners on the east side said they have not been individually notified about lead issues.

“It does concern me. Obviously I don’t want any lead contamination for myself or my son,” said Matt Sherburne.

This homeowner says he isn’t planning on putting in new pipes. But he will check with the water utility to see if his home is affected.

To find out whether your home is among the nearly two thousand in danger of lead contamination will require a telephone call to the Green Bay Water Utility at 920-448-3480.

To find out how to get your water tested for lead, call the Green Bay Water Utility at (920) 448-3480 or visit gbwater.org.

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