Trenton Municipal Utilities to collect water samples to be tested for lead

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Water samples will again be taken during the next few days as tests are conducted on the city of Trenton water supply.

Trenton Municipal Utilities will provide bottles to a selected group of 40 residential customers from across the city. Utility Director Ron Urton says it’s the same 40 TMU customers who provided water samples earlier this year.  Testing by TMU is required by the Department of Natural Resources every six months in an effort to determine if there’s too much lead in the water.

In previous tests, Trenton officials reported five of the 40 locations tested above the EPA action level for lead of 15 parts per billion while the others did not. In the initial testing done in September of 2017, three of 20 locations noted lead levels that scored above 15 parts per billion. Officials feel the issue primarily involves the older, lead lines that some households have.

TMU continues to work with the Department of Natural Resources to test the water supply. The DNR this month issued a permit allowing TMU to add a chemical called orthophosphate to the water supply lines. The water treatment process is expected to be fully implemented in about three months and has been shown to reduce the potential release of lead in service lines of private properties.

Urton stated the impact of the additional treatment may not immediately be reflected when the results of upcoming test samples become available. When bills are mailed by TMU, water customers will receive a letter about the lead testing as well as basic information on the health effects of any lead in drinking water and tips citizens can take to reduce the risk. TMU plans additional tests at six-month intervals throughout 2018 and into 2019 to measure the impact of the additional water treatment process.

The city of Trenton plans to offer a water quality hotline for customers who have questions or concerns regarding this issue. That phone number is 660-234-9172.

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