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The Water Quality Association said today that it supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendation that residents of Newark, NJ, use bottled water until further testing can verify that the amount of lead in the water delivered to homes and businesses does not exceed the design and scope of water filtration products to effectively reduce lead to safe levels.
“As long as concerns about lead in drinking water persist, we're reminding authorities and the general public to take the appropriate steps to safeguard residents, particularly children,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “We support further testing to verify the conditions under which the filtration products are being used and to determine the best solutions in these circumstances. The lead levels we’re hearing about in Newark far exceed household expectations for which testing is conducted on certified water filtration products.”
Based on the limited information available currently, the lead levels in water coming to the filters may exceed the 150 parts per billion for which they are tested under the American National Standards. If so, these high lead levels could exceed filter design and the scope of the product certification, and thus the ability of the filter to reach the EPA safe drinking water standard of 15 parts per billion.
An engineering consultant working with the City of Newark said their water tests from filtration devices were conducted under extreme conditions, after water had been stagnated for six hours, representing a “worst-case scenario” for lead concentrations, according to published reports.
Home water treatment products are considered a preferred method for lead removal. However, devices and systems may differ in their effectiveness under such unusual and potentially extreme conditions.
WQA continues to monitor developments in Newark and is reaching out to authorities to provide additional resources and expertise as needed.
WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. WQA’s education and professional certification programshave been providing industry-standardized training and credentialing since 1977. The WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water since 1959. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
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