Lead and Copper
LEAD & COPPER: A PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN
Lead and copper in our environment is a public health concern. As your supplier of drinking water, the City of Atlantic Beach has prepared this information for you.
To protect the public’s health, the Safe Drinking Water Act -- under which the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards -- governs public drinking water supplies. Although there is a high level of compliance with drinking water standards throughout the United States, there is still reason for some concern about certain contaminants, which may get into public drinking water supplies, including lead and copper.
Water treated by the City of Atlantic Beach and delivered to the service connections of our customers has not detected levels of lead and/or copper and has a very low potential for dissolving any lead and/or copper which may be present in your home plumbing system. However, certain home treatment devices can make the water in your home plumbing system more aggressive.
If lead and/or copper are present in your drinking water, it enters after the water leaves the treatment plant. The most likely source for lead and/or copper contamination is in the home or residence. The most common cause of lead and/or copper entering drinking water is corrosion, a reaction between the water and the copper pipes and/or the lead-based solder used in connecting copper plumbing.
If a lead and/or copper source are present and water stands in the pipes of a residence for several hours, there is a potential for lead and/or copper to leach or dissolve into the water. Lead and/or copper levels in your drinking water are likely to be highest:
If your plumbing system has lead pipes (in Jacksonville, houses built before 1951)
If your home has copper pipes with lead solder, and
If your home was built between Jan. 1, 1983, and June 1, 1988
If your home has soft water, or
If water sits in the pipes for several hours
In June 1988, federal law required the use of lead-free solder and lead-free materials in new household plumbing and for plumbing repairs.
As a means of eliminating the possibility of dissolved lead and/or copper in your drinking water, we recommend taking the following two precautions before using water for drinking or cooking: (1) When water in the house has set for several hours, run the cold water for a few minutes to flush the pipes. (2) Use water only from the cold water taps for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead.
Too much lead and/or copper in the human body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells. Since lead and copper accumulates in the body, its potential for harm depends on the level of exposure from all sources. There are three potential sources from which lead and copper can enter the body: food, air, and drinking water (pipes).
If you have questions about this topic, call (904) 247-5830.