No signs of danger in other parts of Triangle

From Staff ReportsJune 13, 2006 

Officials in Triangle cities and towns that use the same water treatment process suspected of contributing to lead contamination in Durham said they have not seen any signs of danger.

Andre Pierce, Wake County director of environmental health and safety, said there has been no increase in cases of lead poisoning. In fact, over the past five years, the county's caseload has decreased.

"The situation in Durham is unique," Pierce said.

At the Cary Apex Water Treatment Facility, officials are always concerned about lead, operator Jonathan Brinson said. "You never know what kind of pipes people have in their homes. We're responsible for the water as it comes out of the tap, so we have to take care what we can from our water plant to make sure there's not lead in it."

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority, which serves Chapel Hill and Carrboro, hasn't seen any change in lead levels since it began using chloramination in January 2002. Two rounds of in-home testing under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act returned no samples with detectable lead, said Sandra Bradshaw, OWASA's laboratory manager.

The town of Hillsborough water plant started using chloramination in August 2004. The town hasn't found any problems yet but has been keeping an eye on problems with lead elsewhere.

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