ROGERSVILLE — The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has told the East Lauderdale County Water Authority to issue a drinking water notice due to elevated levels of lead in drinking water at three homes, according to an ADEM release.

Jackson Marlow, an employee with the water authority, said the lead is not coming from the authority's water sources. Instead, it occurs in homes that have copper plumbing and lead solder joints.

"The water we're selling has no traces of lead," Marlow said. "If it sits in plumbing, the water is just corrosive enough that there are traces of lead, but that's only for homes that have the combination of copper plumbing and lead solder joints. Very few homes have that."

Marlow said the authority is working on resolving the issue.

"We're reviewing our corrosive program to look at ways to improve it," he said. "It'll be fixed soon."

The ADEM release states laboratory analysis of 20 samples collected from a monitoring period that ended June 30 found three results of ug/L — or micrograms per liter — that exceed the Environmental Protection Agency Action level.

The action level occurs when the level is more than 15 micrograms per liter, according to ADEM.

"Sampling consisted of 20 samples collected in different parts of the (water authority) service area with results ranging from non-detect to 120 ug/L," the release states.

It goes on to state there is no evidence of lead in the water sources used by the water authority, and there rare no known lead service lines in the system.

ADEM has directed the water authority to "prepare a corrosion control report, conduct water quality parameter and source monitoring, double the number of routine samples from 20 to 40, and provide educational materials to its customers and other consumers," the release states.

"Anytime that a lead action level is exceeded it's a concern, particularly for young children and pregnant women," ADEM Director Lance LeFleur said.

There are approximately 500 miles of waterlines and three storage tanks in the East Lauderdale County Water Authority system, according to its website. It serves more than 3,100 customers.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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