City encourages water testing after lead found in eight homes

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The City of Fort Wayne is asking some residents to get their water tested after eight homes ended up with excessive lead levels in their drinking water.

City Utilities Chief Engineer Matthew Wirtz tells WOWO News it’s not coming from the city’s water filtration plant:

“The water leaving our filtration plant doesn’t have lead in it, so that water’s fine. But once it interacts with lead plumbing in people’s homes, it can leach out lead.”

The eight homes were all built prior to 1986, which is when Congress passed restrictions on the use of lead solder and the lead content of faucets, pipes, and other plumbing materials. Six of the homes were built before 1937 and are likely to have lead service lines.

To help water utility customers who may want to have their water tested; City Utilities has secured a reduced charge for lead tests from our testing partner, Element Materials Technology. The regular cost for lead analysis is $25, and the company has agreed to charge individuals the same fee City Utilities pays, which is $16 per sample.

In addition to the discounted service from Element, there are other commercial labs around the state that are certified to perform tests for lead in water.  The State of Indiana has a list of laboratories that residents may want to use. The list is available at www.in.gov/isdh/22452.htm.

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