Roughly 10 thousand Residents in and around Herkimer may have elevated lead and copper action levels in their drinking water. The Village is aware of the problem and working on a solution. Residents will soon be getting a letter in the mail, telling them about the health effects of lead, and what they can do if they’d like to get their water tested. Scott Blais is the Water & Sewer Superintendent. He explains what you can do if you have concerns.
"Just trying to let everybody know that the lead is in there. Lead is in the water from whatever source it ends up being. If you have a problem, or you think you might have a problem, you are able to go get a test kit and have it tested."
Residents are asked to: Run water for 15-30 seconds (until the water runs cold) to flush the lead out.
Use cold water for cooking, as boiling water does not remove lead from the water.
Use bottled water or water filters.
And replace any plumbing fixtures or pipes that are found to have lead in them.
Infants, small children, and pregnant women should avoid elevated lead levels, as it poses serious health problems.
The Water Department may open up additional wells to dilute the lead throughout the system, or take other action if needed.
"We can go and we can do more sampling if needed. We could also do corrosion control, which you add chemicals to the water, which keeps the corrosion controlled and knocks the level of the lead down. So if need be in the future, that is also an option that we can do."
"If you wish, you can get ahold of the Department of Health. The numbers and stuff are on there…the websites. You can go, they will send you a sample bottle, the paperwork that goes along with it. It’s to my knowledge free of charge, and you can send that to Albany or wherever. I believe it is Albany area. They will send it to the lab. They will test it for you, and ship directly back to your residents the results of that."
These are the numbers to the Health Department:
Herkimer Health Department: 315 866-6879
New York State Department of Health: 1-800 458-1158 extensioin 27650