Duluth seeking participants for lead study

Updated: April 30, 2021 11:24 PM
Created: April 30, 2021 05:42 PM

If you live in Duluth and your home was built before 1930 or so, it might be a good idea to have your water tested for lead. And the City is offering to do it for free.

"We're looking to build a big data set with lead concentrations from homes with known lead service lines. And it'll give us a good base-line to compare with any changes we make in the future. So if we tweak our treatment process or change our corrosion control, we'll have a base-line to look back to." Lindsey Seifert-Monson is a chemist for the City of Duluth. She says lead service lines were installed pretty routinely before the 30's, which is the primary target for their lead study.

The City is asking for renters and homeowners living in single-family homes built before 1930 to test their water for the presence of lead. The city provides high quality drinking water, but if that water travels to taps connected to a lead line it could become contaminated. This free test will not only help the city to check water quality, but will also help educate the public about lead service lines, and the importance to test for lead in your water.

"You'll turn your water off for at least six hours. So you come back after work at the end of the day, or when you get up in the morning -- turn your tap on, and collect the fifth liter of sample coming out of your tap," explains Seifert-Monson. "We usually suggest people use a kitchen tap or a bathroom tap; something they'll be drinking water from. Run four liters down the drain, collect the fifth liter. We'll come and pick up the sample, then deliver it to a contract lab. And once we get the results back, we'll give each person the results from their home."

A specific type of home the City is hoping to get a lot of samples from are those with kids under age six, as children are more at risk for lead exposure.

The goal is to collect 100 samples by the end of May. If you'd like to participate in the lead study, you can sign up to receive a test on the City's Public Works and Utilities website. The number of tests available are limited.

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