Louisville Water customers can now see if they have lead service - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Water customers can now see if they have lead service lines

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Flint Water Crisis and lead poisoning are two phrases in the national spotlight that might have you questioning the very safety of your own drinking water, especially since the Louisville Water Company still has about 8,000 lead service lines in the metro area. 

“Lead is not a public health concern for Louisville's drinking water,” Louisville Water Company Communications Director Kelley Dearing Smith. “There's never been a case here of a child lead poisoning connected to drinking water. Never in the Louisville community.”

It's a night and day difference between what's happening here and the crisis taking place 400 miles way in Flint, Michigan. The people there exposed to dangerous levels of lead in their drinking water for more than a year. But back here in the Derby City there are still 7,700 lead service lines, which is only about 3-percent of all water lines. Dearing Smith says it's not a concern because scientists constantly balance the chemistry of the water for corrosion control.

“We have to make that water stable so that something in the pipe cannot dissolve in the water so it starts right here,” she said.

Louisville's drinking water comes from the Ohio River and in order to go from cloudy and discolored to clear and pristine this, it goes through about 200 tests including a tastes test.

All 281,000 pipes started to be replaced with copper in the 1980s. This year 1,000 lead lines will be eliminated and the goal is to have no lead lines by 2025. But that doesn't mean your property is lead-free.

“So while we're replacing our pipes, I don't know what's inside your home. If you have an older home you may have lead pipes and plumbing,” Dearing Smith said.

Since the Flint crisis, the Louisville Water Company has only been asked to test 34 water samples from customers. 

“The small amount of water is getting added to a furnace where it's slowly heating up, drying, evaporating and then measure the absorbance reading on lead specifically,” said Emily Fritz, a scientist with the Louisville Water Company.

Results show lead levels are far below the EPA standard.

To find out if your property has a lead service line click here.

If you would like your water tested for free call 502-583-6610.

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