Water tests look for high levels of copper, lead

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By Gabriel Vasquez

In accordance with state code, a random sample of residents in Los Alamos with homes built prior to 1983 will have their water tested in mid-June for elevated levels of copper and lead.

Because most homes built pre-1983 came with industrial strength “original piping,” there is a possibility that corrosion of interior plumbing may lead to elevated levels of copper and lead, and consequently contaminate a homeowner’s water source.

The testing, required by the New Mexico Department of Health, occurs every three years.

In 2005, the Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities determined that there were no significant levels of either copper or lead in the water of Los Alamos homes.

“We had our water tested in accordance with the 2005 testing program and found that our water and pipes were well within the limits,” study participant Joan Boudreau said.

Allison Majure, spokeswoman for public relations at the Los Alamos Public Utilities Department, said that the testing is offered to local residents as a community service, and that if dangerous levels of copper and lead were to be found, it would be up to the homeowner to correct the problem.

“It would be their responsibility to mitigate the situation since it’s on their private property,” Majure said.

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