The Flint water crisis has communities across the country taking a closer look at the safety of their own drinking water. That includes the 230,000 customers in Kent and Ottawa counties served by the City of Wyoming’s Water Treatment Plant.

The City of Wyoming Water Treatment Plant is providing answers to questions about lead in the water, lead testing, and how to report problems with local drinking water.

The City of Wyoming Water Treatment Plant serves people in Wyoming, Park Township, Holland Township, Olive-Blendon Townships, Zeeland Township, Georgetown Township, Jamestown Township, Hudsonville, Grandville, Byron-Gaines Townships, and Kentwood.

On Tuesday, the City of Wyoming Water Treatment Plant answered some frequently asked questions about the water they provide.

How do I know our water is safe?

The City of Wyoming conducts numerous types of tests and monitoring to ensure safe, high quality water. Some monitoring is continuous or hourly for operations oversight; other tests are done on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.

Does our water have high levels of lead in it like the City of Flint’s?

No, because the City of Wyoming has proactively removed all known lead-based water service lines. The most recent round of lead testing conducted in Wyoming’s water distribution area showed no detectable amounts of lead from any of the representative residential sampling sites.

Where does the lead that can be in drinking water come from?

Every home is served by what is called a service line, which is the pipe that connects the water main in the street to the plumbing system in the house. The presence of lead in drinking water is primarily due to the lead service lines that were in common use historically, and, in some cases, interior plumbing and fixtures inside the house. Because the City of Wyoming does not have any lead-based water service lines, there is no concern for lead in Wyoming’s drinking water as it is supplied to your home.

How is lead testing conducted in Wyoming’s water distribution system?

The MDEQ mandates that testing for lead be conducted every three years in a representative number of Wyoming residences. Samples are drawn from residential taps in homes that are known to have been built during the era when lead-based solder was commonly used as a plumbing material. The EPA action level for lead is 15 parts per billion (ppb). If the 90th percentile of the residential samples is at or above 15 ppb, then the City would be required to make changes to its treatment scheme to prevent the corrosion of service lines or plumbing systems. No detectable amounts of lead have ever been found from these residential sampling events in Wyoming.

I understand that some of the trouble in Flint happened in the water service lines between water mains and residences. In Wyoming, who is responsible for replacing those lead-based service lines?

There are no lead-based service lines in Wyoming as far as the City is aware. If the City knew of a lead-based service line, it would replace that line at its cost.

How many lead service lines are there in Wyoming? How many service lines are there overall?

There are no lead service lines in the City of Wyoming. There are approximately 20,000 service lines in Wyoming overall.

If someone is concerned about their water, can they ask/pay to have their water tested?

Before having any testing done, customers may want to consult with the Kent County Health Department to discuss their specific concerns. With lead in particular, there are other concerns such as lead-based paint, which may be found in older homes. Healthy Homes Coalition is another great resource. Homeowners should speak to one of these agencies first to better understand their concerns before getting water tests done.


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