Philadelphia Water Department to update lead testing methods

The department is updating its testing to comply with federal guidelines issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center in Philadelphia.
The Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA, JULY 15, 2016 -- The Philadelphia Water Department will update the way it tests for lead to comply with federal guidelines issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a press release.

The department's current method of testing, which it has used since the 90s, does not meet two of the EPA's guidelines, but this summer, the Water Department will do a round of water testing following all the current guidelines, according to Philadelphia Magazine.

New guidelines insist that water utilities should keep aerators attached to faucets, rather than removing them because this could cause utilities to miss high levels of lead. The EPA reccomends against"pre-flushing," or letting the tap run for several minutes prior to testing as well.

The Water Department had continued to remove the aerators and suggest pre-flushing until now. Going forward, the utility will test to all current EPA guidelines.

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