City: Lead testing compliant with EPA guidance

The Guardian released an article on Lead Testing Practices that alleges the City’s lead testing instructions to its resident samplers fell below EPA Guidelines within the last decade. In fact, the City’s testing practices have complied with EPA Guidelines. As late as 2008, the EPA continued to condone pre-stagnation flushing as part of lead testing protocols. In 2010, the City amended its testing instructions to avoid pre-stagnation flushing or aerator removal. Those 2010 instructions are fully compliant with the latest EPA guidance issued in 2016 on lead testing programs.

Part of the confusion in the arena stems from guidance from the EPA that recommends pre-stagnation flushing as a means to ensure accurate testing for other protocols, in addition to the EPA condoning the practice in the past for lead testing.

With a fully compliant process in place, the City has never been cited for a violation of the Lead and Copper Rule, and due to consecutive years of lead and copper monitoring without any action level exceedances, has been placed on a reduced monitoring program. Additionally, City water is treated with phosphates which scale the interior of the distribution pipes and prevent the leaching of lead and copper into the drinking water.

The City will make a full report on this issue to the City Council on Monday, June 6, 2016 at the City Council meeting.

–City of Rockford

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