Does the Suffolk County Water Authority have numerous lead service lines?
The Suffolk County Water Authority is currently in the progress of updating our service line material inventory, and while we don't anticipate an issue within our service territory, we would still like to bring awareness to the topic.
Where Does Lead in Water Come From?
Lead is not found in Long Island's source water or in the water mains. Lead can be present in the service lines connecting homes to water mains and in brass fixtures, faucets, and solder in copper plumbing. These items can pass lead into the water you use for drinking and cooking.
Health impacts of lead
Exposure to lead can cause serious health effects in all age groups. Infants and children who drink water containing lead could have decreases in IQ and attention span and increases in learning and behavior problems. Lead exposure among women who are pregnant increases prenatal risks. Lead exposure among women who later become pregnant has similar risks if lead stored in the mother's bones is released during pregnancy. Recent science suggests that adults who drink water containing lead have increased risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney or nervous system problems. The video below was developed by the American Water Works Association to explain how lead can get into drinking water and what you can do to protect your household.
Click Here for Lead in Drinking Water resources.
TO ENSURE YOU ARE GETTING THE BEST QUALITY WATER POSSIBLE, WE RECOMMEND TAKING THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
Step 1 - Find out the Material of Your Service Line:
Find Out the Material of Your Service Line: Water service material records are available in the interactive map.
Have Your Water Tested for Free: To schedule a WaterTest appointment, please feel free to call us at 631-698-9500 to arrange for a home test or with any questions about this program.
Inspect Your Plumbing:
- Learn how to identify sources of lead in your home's plumbing with this online guide.
- Use this guide to identify your inside water service material. Click here for a video from NYS DOH on Inside Service Line inspection. Submit your results by email.
- EPA's guide for How to Identify Lead Free Certification Marks for Drinking Water System & Plumbing Products.
- Contact a licensed plumber
Step 2 - Use these simple steps to minimize lead in your tap water:
- Use only cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula. Hot water dissolves lead more quickly.
- Flush your pipes any time water has been unused for more than 4-6 hours. Lead levels are highest when water has been sitting in the pipe. Run your cold water for 3 to 5 minutes to ensure complete flushing.
- Routinely clean faucet screens which can accumulate lead and rust particles.
- Use a water filter that is certified NSF 53 to remove lead. Find out more at www.nsf.org.
Step 3 - Take steps to replace all lead-containing plumbing in your home. Consider replacing your inside water service if it contains lead.
EPA Hotline and Information