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Trenton Water Works’ Elevated Lead Levels Call for Better Preventative Measures


Citizens of Trenton, New Jersey have plenty to be worried about — for the third time in four testing periods, samples of water from homes around Trenton have tested positive for high levels of lead. In fact, the amount of lead found in certain samples far exceeds the federal action level. The most troubling sample, from a home located on West Paul Avenue in Trenton, contained 1,430 parts per billion (ppb) of lead — practically 100 times the federal action level.

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Elevated Levels of Lead in Trenton

Officials at Trenton Water Works are taking many actions to try to limit the problem. Assistant director of TWW Kristen Epstein communicated that the city is fast-tracking a system that will limit corrosion from lead pipes and fixtures leeching into the tap water of Trenton. However, by spring only 80% of Trenton residents will benefit from this system.

The 200,000-plus customers of TWW have grown frustrated and skeptical of the water quality, as notices of federal violations come months after contaminants are first detected. Families are exposed to harmful disinfection by-products (DBPs) and elevated levels of lead for many weeks before they are made aware of the problem.

Lead: A Toxic Contaminant

These delays are concerning for residents, doctors, and government agencies because there is no safe level of lead — even in trace amounts lead is a dangerous neurotoxin. Because it is difficult for government agencies to enforce water quality standards, there are often discrepancies. For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend a maximum lead level of 5 ppb, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces a limit three times as high.

The health effects of consuming lead in your drinking water are very serious. Heavy metals accumulate in your body over time if you are exposed long-term to lead in your drinking water. Young children age 6 and under are especially susceptible to health problems caused by lead, which include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Lower IQ scores
  • Behavioral problems
  • Abdominal cramping
  • High blood pressure
  • Nerve disorders
  • Reduced fetal growth

Preventative Measures to Safeguard Against Lead

Because it is a serious contaminant you should not wait until you receive a water contamination notice to test your tap water for lead. If you believe the drinking water in your home may be contaminated with lead, the best course of action is to conduct a water test at home.

There are many options available for water testing — Pelican Water carries various types of water testing kits based on your budget and needs. In order to check for lead we recommend the Pelican 16-Point Rapid Water Test; this is the most affordable water test that will measure the amount of lead in your drinking water.

For homeowners in Trenton investing in water filtration systems that use reverse osmosis or have a whole house lead filter can effectively reduce the amount of lead in contaminated water, eliminating this worrisome problem entirely.

For comprehensive filtration choose an option like our 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Filter: this system reduces contaminants like lead, copper, arsenic, chromium, fluoride, and TDS for fresher, cleaner water you can safely serve to your kids. A more affordable option is the 3-Stage Water Purifier, which has been NSF-certified to remove contaminants including bacteria, cysts, viruses, and lead at a rate of 98.8% or greater. Don’t wait until it’s too late — take preventative steps now to protect your family from the dangers of lead contamination.

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