For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield Utilities (MU) has found that lead levels in the local drinking water are at the lowest levels since mandatory testing began in 1992. The Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Natural Resources testing that is required every three years was completed in June and July of this year.
The tests are required to be conducted at 30 homes that have either lead water service lines or were constructed in 1984, during which time lead flux was allowed to be used to solder copper water lines. The EPA mandates that 90 percent of the 30 homes sampled must have lead levels below 15 parts per billion. Should water test results exceed these limits, mandatory corrective action would be required.
“We have already received the results on 28 of the samples from a certified laboratory, and all 28 samples were found to be well below the required level, which means we have already met the mandate,” said MU Water Superintendent Dave Wasserburger, “with the highest level reported at 5.9 parts per billion.”
These levels are well below test results from prior years. The low levels are the result of proactive steps taken by MU. Distribution main corrosion studies were conducted to determine the source of any potential lead contamination in Marshfield’s drinking water, and action was taken over the years to eliminate the potential causes of lead release into the drinking water.
“This is great news for the Marshfield residents,” said MU General Manager Bob Trussoni. “Our employees have diligently worked to maintain the water system to ensure low lead levels. Good drinking water is critical to all of us, and we take our responsibility to provide that water very seriously.”
Wasserburger added that MU has been working with Madison-based Process Research Solutions LLC, owned by Abigail Cantor, for the past 10 years. Cantor is a leading worldwide authority on corrosion in drinking water. “Since implementing Cantor’s recommendations, we have not exceeded the EPA’s lead or copper level limits,” Wasserburger said.