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City of Saratoga Springs
Department of Public Works
Anthony “Skip” Scirocco, Commissioner of Public Works
NEWS IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 28, 2017
FOR CONTACT: 518-545-8652
Routine Water Testing Results in Action by City of Saratoga Springs7 out of 60 Households Tested Exceeded Action Level Limits for LeadPrior Testing Levels Were Below Action Level Limits Cause for the Exceedance is Believed to be Related to Older Pipes or Plumbing Materials Containing Lead
Saratoga Springs, NY – The City of Saratoga Springs announced today that routine testing has found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes in Saratoga Springs. 60 locations were sampled as part of routine sampling required by the federal Lead and Copper Rule. An aggressive plan to adjust the water chemistry to prevent the leaching of lead from older residential pipes and fixtures is being finalized for approval by the New York State Department of Health.
Both of the City’s public water sources at the Water Treatment Plant and Geyser Crest Subdivision tested at “non-detect” levels for lead. At this time, it is believed that the cause for the exceedance is older pipes or plumbing materials containing lead. The City of Saratoga Springs Water Treatment System, sampled their 60 Tier 1 locations, as required by the federal Lead and Copper Rule. These homes, built between 1982 – 1986, are considered “Tier 1” locations because lead plumbing fixtures were typically used in home construction. Previous sampling in 2015 and 2016 demonstrated levels below the action level threshold.
The City has contacted the seven households where testing levels were above the threshold to re-sample the water and offer an alternative water source while awaiting a second round of testing results.
“The public should know that Saratoga Springs’ municipal water supply does not contain lead and these results reflect an exceedance in a small number of homes with lead plumbing fixtures,” said Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco. “We are conducting confirmatory sampling of the impacted homes and taking action to ensure that every resident in our city has clean water.”
Per protocol, the State Health Department is reviewing the City’s plan for remediation, which includes adding additional corrosion control treatment to prevent lead leaching from older residential pipes and fixtures. The City has also hired an engineer to provide water treatment consultation, with a goal of controlling water corrosion.
Additionally, Saratoga Springs City residents can participate in the State’s free In-Home Lead Testing Program, which provides residents that are served by either a private well or public water system an opportunity to have their drinking water tested for lead free of charge. To obtain a free lead test kit please email FreeWaterTesting@health.ny.gov directly or call the State Health Department at (518) 402-7650. Further information about this program is available here:
Plumbing materials such as faucets, fittings, and valves can contribute to lead in drinking water. Homes built before 1986 can potentially have lead soldering and other fixtures that increase the possibility for lead to enter the water. Lead can enter the water when it remains in contact with pipes or fixtures that contain lead for an extended period of time. To reduce the amount of lead in water, run your water for at least 30 seconds or until water is cold to the touch or reaches a steady temperature, before using it for drinking or cooking. This flushes lead-containing water from the fixture.
Residents concerned about the plumbing in their homes, or with any questions about their drinking water, can contact the City’s 24-hour water response line established at the Water Treatment Plant at 518-584-1848. Inquiries will be logged and responded to immediately. For more information about lead in drinking water please see: http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2508/.