I work as the Ferguson Township representative to the Public Services and Environment committee for the Centre Region Council of Governments. Recent worry about lead in water worried some of our residents so we talked about it in committee and had a presentation from a State College Borough Water Authority representative. The punchline: We don’t have a lead issue in our water.
He looked back and examined the Consumer Confidence reports from 2004 to 2013. Of the ~40 samples they took on 3-year intervals along that time, they had no substantive issues with lead contamination in residential water. In 2013, they had two possible houses with lead levels at or above the DEP actionable level. However, in both cases it was a specific location in the house or caused by a sampling error. There is nothing in the SCBWA system itself to warrant worry. A member of the College Township Water Authority said the same is true of their water systems and for Penn State as well.
If you’d like more information or ways to understand lead in your water, the water authority representatives suggested contacting Penn State Extension. You can also access the consumer confidence reports of the State College Borough Water Authority and College Township Water Authority online.
So what’s the culprit for some elevated lead levels? More than likely, it’s old paint in old houses. I will follow up on that as well.