CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) Thousands of residents in Arapahoe County are having to run their taps for several seconds before using their water. The Arapahoe Water and Wastewater Authority, ACWWA, notified about 30,000 households that there are high levels of lead in the water and that running the tap will clear it.
“That just is alarming,” said Jennifer Miller a customer of ACWWA.
The ACWWA is required by Environmental Protection Agency rules to notify all of its customers when the lead levels test high. The warning came in customers water bills and stated there are “high levels of lead in drinking water on some home” and that “lead can cause serious health problems”.
“The real problems lie within the fixtures and the solder that’s in the pipe and those things were put in those homes back in the mid-80’s,” said Gary Atkin, general manager of the Arapahoe County Water and Wastewater Authority.
Atkin says that the problem is isolated to the Chapparel neighborhood, where the homes were built in the 1980’s. Homeowners need to run their water about 15 to 30 seconds to clear the lead before they use it. Although the warning was sent to about 30,000 customers, most of the service area is made up of commercial property. People who live in newer homes, like Jennifer Miller, are not impacted by the lead warning.
“I feel that’s the type of information that should’ve been given to us,” Miller told CBS4.
Atkins wants to stress to everyone that the source of the problem is the pipes and not the source water. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment confirms that lead has not been detected in the Arapahoe County water source.
- Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith