Barbour County town issued drinking water notice due to high lead levels

Local News

CLAYTON, Ala. (WDHN) — The town of Clayton has been put under a drinking water notice by an order by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

The decision was made after three different homes showed higher levels of lead in a sample analysis.

Laboratory analysis for the monitoring period ending June 30 found that the three results exceeded the action level of 15 ug/L (micrograms per liter) as set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The sampling consisted of 20 samples collected in different parts of the Clayton Water Works & Sewer Board service area with results ranging from non-detect to 32 ug/L. On July 17, the Clayton Water Works & Sewer Board’s laboratory reported that all three confirmation samples collected on July 2 exceeded the EPA action level for lead. At this time, there is no evidence of lead in the water sources being used locally, nor are there any known lead service lines in the system. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management directed the Clayton Water Works & Sewer Board on July 9 to prepare a corrosion control report, conduct water quality parameter and source monitoring, to continue monitoring 20 sites every six months, and provide educational materials to customers and other consumers. ADEM will be working closely with the Clayton Water Works & Sewer Board to return the system to compliance as soon as possible.

“Anytime that a lead action level is exceeded is a concern, particularly for young children and pregnant women,” said ADEM Director Lance LeFleur. “Until the Clayton Water Works & Sewer Board is able to demonstrate lead levels that are in compliance there are steps residents can take to reduce exposure.” 

If you are concerned about lead being present in your water, ADEM recommends the following steps:

  • Run the water for 15-30 seconds to flush lead from plumbing prior to using the water
  • Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Hot water in contact with the pipes can leach more lead, so using cold water can reduce exposures.
  • Consider bottled water as an alternative source. Additionally, filters available for home use that will remove lead. NSF International maintains a list of filter products certified to remove lead.
  • Boiling water does not remove lead.
  • Bathing and showering should be safe, even if the water contains lead over EPA action levels. Human skin does not absorb lead in water.

ADEM will continue to work the board to monitor the sites every six months for any developments.

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