Important Information about Lead in Your Drinking Water

Important Information about Lead in Your Drinking Water

The CITL at Anna Devine found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes/buildings. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Please read this information closely to see what you can do to reduce lead in your drinking water.

Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones, and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain development.

Lead is a common metal found in the environment. The main sources of lead exposure are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust or soil.  Drinking water is also a possible source of lead exposure.  Most sources of drinking water have no lead or very low levels of lead.  Most lead gets into drinking water after it leaves the local well or treatment plant and comes into contact with plumbing materials containing lead.  These include lead pipes, lead solder (commonly used until 1986), as well as faucets, valves, and other components made of brass.

Steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in your water.

1. Run your water to flush out lead. Run water for 15-30 seconds or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking.

2. Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Lead dissolves more easily into hot water.

3. Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.

4. Look for alternative sources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing a filter or bottled water.

5. Test your water for lead. Contact the Ulster BOCES Risk Management Department for information about lead testing (845.255.1400). 

6. Get your child tested. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about exposure.

What Happened? What is being done?

Ulster BOCES tests for lead in water regularly per the requirements of NYS Sanitary Code Subpart 5-1. First-draw samples are collected after the water has remained quiescent in the pipes for at least 6-hours.  Results for samples collected in CITL at Anna Devine in September of 2019 showed that greater than 10% (3 out of 5) exceeded 15 parts per billion (ppb).  The 90th percentile lead level was 41.5 ppb.  The outlets that exceeded 15 ppb were taken out of service and the agency is working on a corrosion control plan with its design professionals. 

For More Information

Call us at 845.255.1400 or visit us on our website, For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home/building and the health effects of lead, visit the EPA’s website at, or contact your health care provider.

CITL at Anna Devine – Federal Water ID# - NY5502488


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