Brunswick & Topsham Water District
Quality and Reliability Since 1903    
 
 
 
 

Lead & Water Quality

The drinking water problems in Flint, Michigan have raised questions and concerns for our customers.  We would like to tell you what we have done regarding lead and copper.

Our water has no lead in it from the wells through the distribution system.  Nevertheless lead can enter tap water by prolonged contact with lead service pipes and interior plumbing and fixtures.  

There are two ways to reduce the amount of lead that gets into your water.  One approach is to remove any piping and fixtures with lead components.  The other approach is to treat the water to minimize the risk of dissolving the lead from your pipes.  Unfortunately neither occurred in Flint.  Here in Brunswick and Topsham we work to address both.

Twenty-five years ago we began an effort to remove all lead piping in the District system.  Even though there wasn't much, we aggressively worked to remove all known lead services.  

At our treatment plants we balance the water chemistry to make it non-aggressive to copper plumbing and the lead solder that holds it together.  

We routinely test our water to make sure that the chemistry is working.  We are significantly below the EPA standards for lead and copper.  EPA rules require us to submit 30 samples from homes deemed to be at risk.  Every three years, we send out over 60 letters offering to take samples from homes that qualify.  We typically have 40 customers participate.

We have treated the water to reduce its corrosiveness since the early 1970's.  In 2011 we adjusted our treatment to further lower lead, copper, and costs.  We took samples throughout the system to make sure we were improving water quality.  This past year customers had the lowest levels of lead and copper since we started tracking it regularly in 1992.

If you are worried the best advice is to let it run until the water is cold.  This flushes out the warm water that sat motionless in your pipes.  Motionless water can dissolve small amounts of metals an over time, these levels increase.  When you flush that warm water out and get the cold water from the mains in the street, you are drinking water that has not had time to leach lead and copper from your plumbing.

You can find our test results on our website under "Water Quality Report".

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call our office at 
(207) 729-9956.