Warren mayor: ‘Our water is clean and safe’

Concerns arose after two homes tested positive for lead

Officials in Warren, Ohio addressed concerns about the city's water supply.

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The water in the city of Warren is clean and safe. That’s according to Mayor Doug Franklin. Franklin made the comments Tuesday during a press conference at City Hall.

Warren officials wanted to address concerns about the quality of the city’s water supply after two homes on Perkinswood Boulevard tested for higher than acceptable levels of lead. One of those homes had a reading of 64 parts per billion, which is about three times higher than the levels in Sebring. The EPA guideline is 15 parts per billion.

Franklin said the city takes annual water samples and sends them to an independent lab, which then turns the results over to the EPA. The city then shares those results with residents of the testing sample.

Annual testing in the city involves sampling 30 homes, of which 15 have to be homes that have lead service lines. The samples must be done at 6 a.m. and be the first draw of water before any water is run in the home. This ensures the sample has been sitting and provides a true and accurate measure of any lead or bacteria.

Chemist Valerie Myers said each resident in the sampling is given a letter with the results of the testing and steps to take if higher than acceptable levels of lead are detected.

Warren Utilities Director Franco Lucarelli said the city does not have any lead lines in its water delivery system. He said homes that were built in the early 1900s could have a lead line leading to the house, or lead fittings inside, both of which are not under the jurisdiction of the city. He said homeowners of the affected homes would need to address those repairs or renovations.

“The aggregate score was 6.5. If I remember correctly, by having that aggregate score that low, we did not have to enter into corrosion control,” Lucarelli said.

Lucarelli said the PH level in the city’s water is monitored hourly to make sure it is not corrosive and thereby less likely to promote any leaching of lead into the water of those older homes. He said the home on Perkinswood Boulevard that tested at 64 parts per billion was an older house with a lead service line. He said the single person who lives inside does not use much water, which results in the lines not being flushed as much as a house with more occupants.

The city is working on a plan to notify residents who live near other homes that have tested for higher levels of lead so that they can also address any lead piping, fittings and lines going to their home.

Water samples are also taken at the city’s filtration plant where the water leaves the facility. That test came back at less than 2 parts per billion.

“The City of Warren’s water quality is clean and safe. [We’re] proud of test results for lead and copper,” Franklin said.

The next round of testing will be conducted in 2018.

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