The quality of your water is our most important priority
That’s why we process more than 50,000 tests a year to ensure your water meets or surpasses all the standards for safe drinking water from the state and federal government.
In the course of recent testing, SUEZ found lead above the federal standard in three homes. We want to assure you that repeated testing shows there is no lead in the water at our treatment plant. We have no lead mains or lead service lines in Lambertville. This indicates there may an issue inside homes and we are reaching out to let you know you may want to check your home’s plumbing for lead.
What you can do
What you can do
We encourage customers to take a look inside their homes and have any lead in the plumbing or lead fixtures removed.
Lead pipes and lead solder, faucets that contain lead, even grounding electric wires to lead pipes can cause elevated lead levels in the water. Homes that were built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes or solder, although we have found lead in newer buildings. A team from SUEZ reviewed the three homes that tested above the lead standard and found lead solder in interior plumbing. In fact, crews replacing transmitters in meters this fall identified lead solder in nearly 40 percent of residences and businesses in Lambertville.
There are many steps you can take to reduce the potential exposure. One suggestion is to let the water run from your faucet for 15 to 30 seconds when the water hasn’t been used for several hours.
Want to learn more?
You’re invited to attend an information session on Dec. 4 at the Lambertville Inn, 11 Bridge St. The event, co-hosted by SUEZ and the City of Lambertville, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.
Steps we’re taking for you
WHAT WE’RE DOING
While homeowners address plumbing issues, SUEZ will optimize its existing corrosion control, a treatment that essentially coats pipes and fixtures to prevent lead from entering the water.
We will also remove some service lines, the pipes that extend from the main in the street to an individual home or business. While we do not have lead service lines in the city, a small number – 42 out of 1,670 service lines owned by the utility — are made of galvanized steel. We will take out our galvanized lines because they are sometimes attached to the main with a short piece of lead pipe known as a gooseneck, which must also be removed. (SUEZ owns the portion of the service line from the main to the curb, while the property owner is responsible for the section from the curb to the home.) SUEZ is working to determine the material used in an additional 48 lines. Customers with galvanized or undetermined lines will receive further correspondence.
The homes that exceeded the standard in our testing do not have galvanized or undetermined service lines or lead goosenecks. During the testing period, 22 homes were sampled and three exceeded the 15 parts per billion standard set by the EPA. The testing showed lead at 20 ppb. We continue to test water in all parts of our system.
STEPS WE’RE TAKING FOR YOU
- Customers served by a utility-owned galvanized steel service line or a line of unknown material will be offered a free drinking water test.
- If the result is above the standard, customers will be provided with a pitcher with a filter that removes lead from drinking water. A SUEZ team will also visit the home to help identify potential causes in the residence.
- To determine the type of line that serves your property, go to mysuezwater.com/njwq or call our customer service department.
- Our trained customer service representatives are available at 800-422-5987 to answer any of your questions.
Before using any tap water for drinking or cooking, flush your water system by running the kitchen tap (or any other tap you take drinking or cooking water from) on COLD. Never use hot water from the faucet for drinking or cooking, especially when making baby formula or food for infants.
Steps customers can take:
- Test water inside the home for lead. SUEZ will provide free tests to residents on our list of known or suspected lead lines. The NJDEP maintains a list of certified laboratories. To access this list, please visit https://www13.state.nj.us/DataMiner. Once there, click Search by Category then select Certified Laboratories from the Report Category drop down box. Then click on the Submit button and under Certified Laboratories choose Drinking Water Certified Lead Labs.
- Run the water and flush out lead. Let the water run from the tap before using it for drinking or cooking any time the water in the faucet has gone unused for more than six hours. The longer the water resides in plumbing the more lead it contains. Flushing the tap means running the cold water faucet for about 15 to 30 seconds. Although toilet flushing or showering flushes water through a portion of the plumbing system, you still need to flush the water in each faucet before using it for drinking or cooking. is a simple and inexpensive measure you can take to protect your health. It usually uses less than one gallon of water. For those with lead service lines or until you determine if you are served by one, let the water run from the tap based on the length of the lead service line and the plumbing configuration in your home.
- Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap. Hot water can dissolve lead more quickly than cold water. If you need hot water, draw the water from the cold tap and then heat it. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
- Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
- Remove and clean aerators/screens on plumbing fixtures. Over time, particles and sediment can collect in the aerator screen usually found at the tip of indoor faucets. Regularly remove and clean aerators screens and remove any particles.
- Look for alternative sources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter if there is lead in your home. Be sure the filter is approved to reduce lead or contact NSF International at 1-800-NSF-8010 or nsf.org for information on performance standards for water filters. Be sure to maintain and replace a filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Proper and routine maintenance of water softeners. It is very important that residents manage their water softeners appropriately. Not properly maintaining your water softener could have a negative impact on the corrosivity of the water in your home.
- Get your child tested. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get tested for lead if you are concerned about lead exposure. Your family doctor or pediatrician can perform a blood test for lead and provide you with information about the health effects of lead.
If you are concerned about lead exposure, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection recommends contacting your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get tested for lead. Your family doctor or pediatrician can perform a blood test for lead and provide you with information about the health effects of lead.
Never use water from the hot water tap to prepare formula. Boiling water does not remove lead. To err on the side of caution, if you have a lead line serving your home, a lead gooseneck, or lead pipes or fixtures in your house you may want to take precautions.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggests that long-term exposure to lead in water is a concern for infants, young children and pregnant women. Lead can cause serious health issues because it can lead to neurological and kidney damage and interfere with the body’s production of red blood cells. Risk will vary, however, depending on the individual, the circumstances, and the amount of water consumed. For more information, consult a health professional.
All daycare centers and public and private schools in the state of New Jersey are governed by educational laws. If you have concerns, you should contact that facility. We are notifying all schools and day cares. The 16 locations that exceeded were all single family homes and did not include schools, businesses or government facilities.
Yes. As per the Centers for Disease Control, bathing and showering should be safe for you and your children, even if the water contains lead over EPA’s action level. Human skin does not absorb lead in water.
The primary source of lead in drinking water is from service lines made of lead, lead goosenecks, and from lead fixtures in homes. Service lines are pipes that extend from water mains to individual residences or businesses. Water quality professionals rigorously test the safety of water distributed from SUEZ treatment plants in Northern New Jersey and continue to find NO detectable levels of lead.
Other indoor plumbing pipes and fixtures may contain lead that could enter your drinking water, including lead solder that connects pipes in your home as well as brass faucets. Homes or buildings built prior to 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. Lead service lines are typically only present in older homes, but older brass faucets with lead content can be found in newer homes.
SUEZ owns the portion of the service line that runs from our water main to your property line. You own the remaining portion that extends from your property line into your home or business.