Water for Hilltop faucet passes test
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Water in Purdue's Hilltop Apartments Building 3 now meets state requirements, university officials announced Thursday (Feb 25).
"The faucet likely had corroded, allowing lead and copper to seep into the water," said Erick Van Meter, director of utilities. "We replaced the faucet and that appears to have solved the problem. As a precautionary measure, University Residences staff replaced all kitchen faucets in the building."
On Jan. 26, staff began collecting water samples in 72 buildings to be tested by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Initial results, which were received Feb. 3, showed that water from one faucet at Hilltop appeared to have been over the action threshold for lead and copper.
"We tested 72 buildings - a dozen more than required by the state - and found this one was suspect," said Robert McMains, vice president for physical facilities. "While we retested, University Residences staff took quick action, alerting not only the occupants of the Hilltop unit, but also everyone in the 32-building complex. Bottled water was made available while waiting for the results of the retesting. The faucet, which we suspected might have been the culprit, was replaced immediately."
IDEM had asked Purdue to ramp up the number of buildings tested after samples taken in August for 30 campus buildings found that five were above the lead threshold. Adjustments were then made to phosphate levels of the water, and the water was sampled again. The water from those five buildings now meets standards.
Lead in plumbing is a problem nationwide, not just at Purdue. Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of corrosion of materials containing lead in the system, such as lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome-plated faucets, and, in some cases, pipes made of lead that connect houses and buildings to water mains. Because of this, IDEM recommends that when any faucet in any building has not been used for several hours, the best practice is to run water 15-30 seconds, or until the water is cold, before drinking it or using it in cooking.
Lead consumption over time can be harmful.
Writer: Jeanne Norberg, 765-494-2084, email@example.com
Sources: Erick Van Meter, 765-494-8797, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert McMains, 765-494-8000, email@example.com