Submitted to OnFocus – (Marshfield, WI) – Marshfield Utilities found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes/buildings. The homes that exceeded the action level were homes that have lead services. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Please read this information closely to see what you can do to reduce lead in your drinking water. The main way to come in contact with lead in Wisconsin is through lead-based paint in homes built before 1978. You can also come in contact with lead through drinking water. Lead can get in your drinking water as it passes through your household plumbing system.
Health Effects of Lead
Marshfield Utilities is concerned about the health of their residents because lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain development.
How Can I Reduce My Exposure to Lead in Water?
- Let the water run before using it for drinking or cooking. If you have a lead service line, let the water run for 3-5 minutes. If you do not have a lead service line, let the water run for 30-60 seconds. The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. Some home’s interior piping and plumbing faucets can contain lead.
- Use cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula. Hot water absorbs more lead from pipes than cold water.
- Boiling water does not reduce lead levels and may actually increase them.
- Test your water. The only way to know if lead has been reduced by letting it run is to check with a test. If letting the water run does not reduce lead, consider other options to reduce your exposure. Many laboratories can test your water to see if it contains lead.
- Contact a Wisconsin Department of Health Services accredited laboratory such as AgSource Laboratories at 715-898-1402 or Northern Lake Service Inc. at 715-478-2777
- Treat your water or find an alternative source if a test shows your water has high levels of lead after you let the water run.
- Get your child tested. Contact your local health department or doctor to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about exposure.
Call us at 715-898-2170 or 715-898-2171 or visit our website at https://marshfieldutilities.org/about-us/lead-service-replacement-project.php.
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