COMMON QUESTIONS: What you should know about lead pipes, water quality

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Montgomery county releases safe drinking weather report to the community.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Water quality issues can be a complicated topic to grasp, and can often lead residents uneasy about consuming tap water.

Local water utilities want to ensure customers that the water quality is strong in the Miami Valley. Here’s what to know about lead pipes and water:

Is the tap water safe to drink in the Miami Valley?

Yes. Both Montgomery County’s and Dayton’s 2017 water quality reports showed no violations related to water and contaminants. In fact, the city of Dayton — which provides and treats Montgomery County’s water — regularly wins awards for its water. Citizens can participate call the City of Dayton Water Department for more information at 937-333-6093.

» LIST: Does your community have lead pipes?

Where does my water come from?

Local water comes from the Great Miami River Buried Valley Aquifer, which is the principal water source for an estimated 1.5 million people in southwest Ohio. The Dayton water department treats and pumps drinking water to more than 400,000 people in Montgomery County and part of Greene County.

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Dan Day, a water lab technician with the City of Dayton, takes a sample from one of 200 monitoring wells used to check on the quality of water in the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer and test for any contaminants on a regular basis. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

Dan Day, a water lab technician with the City of Dayton, takes a sample from one of 200 monitoring wells used to check on the quality of water in the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer and test for any contaminants on a regular basis. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

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Dan Day, a water lab technician with the City of Dayton, takes a sample from one of 200 monitoring wells used to check on the quality of water in the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer and test for any contaminants on a regular basis. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

Why is lead dangerous?

Lead can cause serious issues if humans consume too much of it, and it is especially harmful to children and pregnant women. According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, lead can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and it can also interfere with the production of red blood cells. Scientists have also linked lead exposure to lowered IQ in children.

» LEAD IN WATER: Dayton Daily News wants to hear from you

What are the common source of lead poisoning?

The U.S. EPA estimates more than 20 percent of children’s exposure to lead comes from drinking water. Babies who drink formula mixed with tap water received 40 to 60 percent of their exposure through drinking water. Lead enters drinking water primarily because of corrosion of materials containing lead in the pipe system. Lead poisoning can also occur through consuming lead paint or chips of lead-based substances often founder in older structures.

Should my child be tested for lead poisoning?

Young children under age 6 are more susceptible to lead exposure because their bodies absorb metals at a faster rate, according to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Exposure to lead is three times higher among black children, and two times higher among low-income children, according to the Center for Disease Control.

» INVESTIGATION: City working to identify lead pipes in water system

The Ohio Department of Health found there are 33 zip codes within Montgomery County that are known as high-risk living areas for children under 6 years old. These areas are considered to contain a hot census tract, or a part of town where at least 12 percent of children are expected to have blood lead levels of ug/dL or greater. Contact your child’s pediatrician about lead testing.

CONTINUED COVERAGE

The Dayton Daily News has extensively covered water quality issues in the Miami Valley — work made possible by your subscription.

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