The City of Blair will be working with residents of the Community, Schools, Day Cares, etc. to make sure the City’s public water is system follows all Federal and State regulations.
EPA has established a goal, and requirement that all public water systems take every effort to make sure all sources of potential lead contaminants be identified by October of 2023 and a plan of action to remove those sources established and implemented shortly thereafter. Although City of Blair’s water chemistry is such that there is low chance of lead release in amounts that would be dangerous to the citizens of the community, EPA is requiring all utilities to eventually remove any potential lead sources in the systems. For now, EPA is trying to determine how big the problem is nationally. Eventually EPA will determine how many service lines will need replaced annually in each utility.
Lead was a common component of water system fittings in older water systems and homes up until 1988. Lead was generally used in service line fittings and piping from the water main to the meter.
In an effort to comply with EPA requirements the City of Blair will be surveying all residential homes, apartments, schools, and day care facilities built before 1988 to determine how many service lines potentially contain lead components. As part of the that process the City of Blair will be mailing out a survey to all water customers whose building(s) were constructed before 1988. Each customer is being requested to help the city by identifying the type of material their water service line contains. There are generally three different types of materials used for water service lines. First is PVC or plastic, second is copper, third is galvanized with lead fittings.
The city is asking all customers to help identify the type of material in service in your water service line and then fill out the survey and return it to City Hall. Customers can do a quick and easy check for the type of material by putting a magnet on the pipe coming into your house prior to the water meter. If the magnet sticks to the pipe, it is galvanized metal and probably has lead components. If the magnet does not stick to the pipe, it would be either copper or plastic and does not contain lead. If you don’t have a magnet, you can do a visual inspection. If when scratched, the line is dull grey metal it would be galvanized, if it is the same color as a penny or has greenish blue build up then it would be copper, and if it is white-ish yellow or grey non-metal, is joined with a clamp, screw or glue then it would be plastic or Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC).
Once the customer has determined the type of material in their service line, the City would request that they fill out he survey they got in the mail and return it to City Hall or as a convenience customers can go on line to the City’s web site at blairnebraska.org and click on the link https://lead-service-line-inventory-blair.hub.arcgis.com/to report the type of material your water service line is made of. If someone can’t access their meter and service line or can’t physically do the inspection, they are asked to notify the City utility department and request utility personnel do the inspection. Should the City not receive a response, the city will have to go door to door to make the inspection or set up appointments.
The City of Blair wants to thank their customers for their help and cooperation in identifying where lead may exist in the city’s water system service lines. Please contact City Hall at 402-426-4191 with any questions.