Pueblo homes to be tested for lead and copper plumbing

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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - Paul Rael is one of several people in Pueblo who are opting to get their water tested for lead and copper levels in Pueblo.

Rael says he lives in an older home and is concerned his water may be contaminated.

"Just not knowing is kind of unsettling. It is better to know, that way I can take corrective action if there is nothing there then that is all the better," Rael said.

Starting in June the Pueblo Board of Water Works is testing 100 homes for the same thing, as well as any other customers who have concerns.

"We've been testing customers' homes for the lead and copper rule since the early 1990s, and in June we are going to begin the testing process once again from June to September," said Don Colalancia with the Pueblo Board of Water Works.

Colalancia says during the testing process selected customers will have a sample bottle and kit brought to their home.

"The customer takes the sample, calls the water quality person up, and we do the water testing for the lead and copper in that home," Colalancia said.

"I just have to let the water sit for six hours -- nobody can run any water for six hours -- then after that time I fill the bottle up, call them back, and they show back up and take the bottle and analyze it for you," Rael said.

The criteria for the test is if the home has a lead service line or has copper plumbing with lead solder.

"If a customer is concerned about lead and copper in their home, they can call us and we will go ahead and send them a sample bottle kit as well and send those customers the results at no charge as well," said Colalancia.

Customers that have positive lead and copper samples or have a lead service line are generally instructed to flush their water in their home before they take it for consumption. Generally two to three minutes is plenty.

"That lowers the lead and copper levels to background levels, which are undetectable in our systems water," said Colalancia.

In 2017 the Board of Water Works started a lead service line replacement program, so if a customer has a lead service line the board will be replacing lead service lines at no cost.

"The plumbing inside the home is still the customer's responsibility," Colalancia said.