Lead concentrations in city of Walla Walla households : a survey
Aaron E. Lieberman
May 9, 2018
Department or Program
Since the Flint Michigan drinking water disaster, municipalities around the country are on edge and more aware of potential lead contamination in the drinking water system. Lead, and other heavy metals, can be found in drinking water due to the desorption of trace amounts of metals into the water system, from both piping in the cities’ water pipes and more commonly in domestic piping systems. Because the exposure to heavy metals can come from different places, potentially beyond the control of either the homeowner or city manager, it is difficult to ensure that the water is clean from treatment plant effluent to its end use, the sink outlet or drinking water fountain. This study looked at both the contamination from homes and the piping from the water system of Walla Walla WA using EPA protocol 200.8. It was found that the city water and water system adequately transported clean water to the residents’ homes with samples ranging from less than 0.01 parts per billion to 9.67 parts per billion lead (Pb), but 14% of the residents lived in houses where domestic piping resulted in higher than the 15 ppb Pb EPA Action Limit in the water for their first morning sample.