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Ohio EPA law requires Cleveland Water to alert customers when lead levels rise

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CLEVELAND- A new Ohio EPA law went into effect October 1, requiring water systems to alert customers when construction may increase the lead levels in water.

“If your home was built before 1954 there’s a pretty good chance you’ve got at least city side lead,” said Cleveland Water Quality Manager Scott Moegling.

"City side lead" refers to the part of a service line that is on city property that likely contains lead.

“What we’re trying to do at Cleveland Water is to systematically and one day eliminate all lead pipes in our system,” said Moegling.

As Cleveland Water does construction work on pipes there is a chance lead could be loosened and increase the amount of lead getting into the water in people’s homes.

“We are providing customers with a notice that they may see changes in water quality due to lead service lines in the area these are called disturbed lines,” Moegling said.

The EPA rule requires water systems to notify customers at least 45 days ahead of scheduled work and provide a special water filter, replacement filters for three months and information about how to test their water.

At the same time, Cleveland Water is launching a new lead awareness campaign where they are trying to teach people how to detect lead in their pipes and then help them avoid any kind of exposure.

“Flush your system, clean your aerators, always consume cold water -- that should always be the case whether you have lead lines or not,” said Moegling, as he explained some of the advice and information outlined in the campaign.

Cleveland Water is mailing out new informational packets explaining how customers can test their pipes, filter their water and make sure they stay safe.

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