Communication from Tacoma Water - Water Quality

posted Apr 21, 2016, 3:49 PM by Town Clerk

As you saw in The News Tribune this morning, Tacoma Water has discovered elevated levels of lead in water samples from 4 homes in Tacoma.  Tacoma Water has sent the City of Ruston the following communication.

Tacoma Water has a website with up to date information:

If you are concerned about your water you can do the following:

  • Run your water for at least two minutes before using the water for drinking or cooking after periods of six hours or more when the water has not been used at all.  Bathing or showering is not a concern, and a shower will effectively flush the service line.
  • Click here to submit their contact information if you would like to know about the type of service material used at your home or business.  Tacoma will check their records for your location and respond to let you know.
  • Test your water samples.  There are two state-certified labs in Tacoma that accept samples from the general public and are certified to run drinking water samples for lead.
                  Spectra Analytical Inc.
                  2221 Ross Way, Tacoma, WA  98421

                  Water Management Laboratories
                  1515 - 80th St. E., Tacoma, WA  98404

Additional Background from Tacoma Water

The recent issues in Flint, MI have sharpened the focus on lead in drinking water across the country and prompted Tacoma Water to re-examine any remaining lead materials we may still have in our system. To do this, we proactively identified potential locations of lead goosenecks at four customers’ homes. Goosenecks are short sections of lead pipe (1’ to 2’ long) that were used in the early 1900s to connect some services lines to customer homes to the supplying water main.  

As part of a service pipe replacement, we conducted special sampling of the water in the service line at these four homes before removing it. We found unexpected levels of lead in the samples we collected. Tacoma Water removed and replaced the lead goosenecks and the entire service pipes that connect the water main to the customers’ meters.

We have notified those customers, talked with our partners from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Washington State Department of Health, and we met with The News Tribune to provide information about what we found. We estimate that there may be up to 1,700 (approximately 2% of customers) remaining lead goosenecks installed in our system. Records from that era did not include whether a lead gooseneck was used, so we will continue to sample and identify these locations on a case-by-case basis.