To the Editor:

Could what happened in Flint, Michigan happen here? If you’ve seen the news, you’ve see that people in Flint have been poisoned by their drinking water due to high levels of toxic lead.    

The [federal Environmental Protection Agency] EPA action level for lead in drinking water is 15 parts per billion. Anything above that level can cause critical health issues, including brain damage, and lead poisoning is very difficult to treat. Your water doesn’t have to look like the filthy, polluted water in Flint to present a danger to you and your family.  You can’t see or smell 15 parts per billion of lead in your drinking water. A perfectly clear glass of water can be home to a host of dangerous pollutants. 

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Lead found in tap water usually comes from the corrosion of older fixtures and pipes or from lead-based solder that connects pipes. There may also be lead components in your well pump. If your house was built before 1978, or if you have an older well, you need to test your drinking water for lead. Even if you have public water, you need to test because lead is more likely to be in your home plumbing, not in the water supply.

Each spring and fall, Raritan Headwaters Association (RHA) partners with towns to offer citizens on private wells an opportunity to test their water for lead, along with a range of other contaminants found to be present in the headwaters region.  Residents on public water are also welcome and encouraged to test for lead through our program. Our community schedule can be found at www.raritanheadwaters.org/protect/well-testing. Individual residents can contact our well test coordinator anytime throughout the year to arrange to pick up a test kit by calling (908) 234-1852, ext. 401. 

RHA is here to watchdog water supplies for the 39 communities in our watershed region located in Hunterdon, Morris and Somerset Counties. Our goal is to ensure a clean and healthy water supply for everyone living in this special place.  Your water is our mission!

Cindy Ehrenclou, Executive Director

Raritan Headwaters Association