Ridgewood officials: Lead is not in water supply
JANUARY 9, 2015 LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 9, 2015, 11:11 AM
BY STEPHANIE ALBERICO AND DARIUS AMOS
STAFF WRITERS |
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS
During a presentation at a council work session on Jan. 7, Ridgewood Water Business Manager Dave Scheibner reiterated facts from a notice that the water utility distributed to its customers last month and confirmed that there is no lead in the water supply.
“As your water system, we are required to conduct public education in regards to lead contamination,” said Scheibner. “I understand that this notice has created some concern among some of the residents in our community. Please know that the language in the notice is prescribed by regulation and my appearance here tonight is for the purpose of providing facts and context to help our residents put this issue into proper prospective.”
“The water supply by Ridgewood Water does not have lead in it,” he continued. “Regulatory agencies require that water utilities test for lead by setting up worst-case scenarios at locations with increased risk such as those knowing to have lead service lines.”
Ridgewood Water, during regular testing performed in June 2012, detected elevated lead levels in “drinking water found in some buildings.” Testing took place at high risk locations in the service area, which includes residential and commercial addresses in the village, Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff.
According to Scheibner, Ridgewood Water was required to develop a treatment strategy to address the situation. Water officials are currently testing phosphate additives that remediate lead corrosion, which “effectively stops the leaching of lead into the water.”
“This treatment provides other official benefits for the water system and has no negative health effects,” said Scheibner. “A permit to allow this treatment to be implemented permanently is pending with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Until this treatment plant is in full effect, residents can take one simple step to eliminate their exposure to lead in drinking water. Let the faucet run for several seconds before drawing water for cooking or drinking. If your service line is made of lead, run the water for a longer period to clear all the water from the service line.”
Scheibner provided information, material and handouts for residents with contact information about service lines, testing for lead, phosphate water treatment, health effects of lead and also answered any questions posed by the public at the meeting.
Mayor Paul Aronsohn asked Scheibner if there was a reason to be concerned.
“There’s a reason to be cautious,” said Scheibner. “Getting in the habit of running the faucet if it hasn’t been used for awhile is just a common sense habit to get into. You don’t need to be concerned about it. It’s just a good habit to get into.”