Lead and Copper Corrosion Control
Three of the well sites on the PL&W system have a lead and copper corrosion control program in operation. The purpose of this treatment is to address elevated levels of lead and copper that some customers may have been experiencing in their home water supply.
Lead and Copper does not exist in the water as it is pumped from the wells. However, in some homes, water that is slightly acidic can leach lead and copper from the lead solider joints and copper pipes within the homes.
The treatment method that has been approved by the Washington State Department of Health, is to mix sodium hydroxide into the water. Sodium hydroxide is a substance which will act as a corrosion inhibitor and raise the pH values in the water to make it less acidic.
Testing has not shown anything that would suggest that sodium hydroxide has any harmful side effects. However, you may notice a slight difference in the taste of the water. In addition, because sodium hydroxide contains sodium, the water will no longer be sodium free. While the level of sodium should be low, if you are concerned about sodium in your diet you may want to contact your healthcare provider.
One way you can help insure yourself of not having elevated lead and copper levels in water that you consume, is to run water from the tap for a short time before using it. The water should be run until you notice a temperature change. This should not take more than a minute or two. Elevated lead and copper levels most frequently occur when water has been sitting in the water line, such as when it sits through the night without use. Flushing the line by running the water at your tap should remove any water that has elevated levels of lead and copper.