EPA records show some Georgia water systems exceeded US lead standard

EPA records show some Georgia water systems exceeded US lead standard

(WALB) - The Flint, Michigan water crisis has left many concerned about the lead levels in their drinking water.

A number of Georgia water systems reported lead levels above the federal standard, according to Environmental Protection Agency records.

The records lists places in all 50 states that had incidents of lead in the drinking water over a three year period of time that exceeded 15 parts per billion.

In southwest Georgia, water systems in Pearson, Bainbridge High School, Lee Village Subdivision, the Alapaha Plantation in Lowndes County and the Waco Community in Pelham showed lead levels exceeding federal limits at least once in that three year span.

The list does not specify if the sites have been cleared up or if there is an ongoing problem.

Pelham City Manager Jim Hedges tells WALB the water supply provided by the City of Pelham to the Waco community did not contain lead, but nitrates were detected. The city worked with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources on a corrective plan that involved connecting the Waco community to the Pelham water supply and abandoning the private well. The work cost $50,000 and was completed last month.

The E-P-A estimates as many as 10 million buildings in the U.S. may be getting water through a pipe that's at least partially made of lead. This tends to be a problem in older communities.

Experts say lead can be unsafe for everyone, but is particularly concerning for pregnant women and small children. Low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and anemia.

Lead can also cause reduced growth of the fetus and premature birth in pregnant women.

The EPA suggests concerned citizens should check with their local water authority for a list of certified labs. A list can be found on the EPA's website.

Consumers can also purchase filters specifically designed to keep lead out of water.

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