City of Wauwatosa

Discussion Item
Information only
Jun 26, 2018 7:30 PM

Staff presentation regarding city-wide efforts toward lead outreach and abatement


Department:Health DepartmentSponsors:
Category:Information Only

Meeting History

Jun 26, 2018 7:30 PM Video Community Affairs Committee Regular Meeting
draft Draft

Ms. Conklin and Mr. Simpson, gave the presentation on lead outreach and abatement in the City.

Ms. Conklin defined lead and where it is found in the environment. It is a natural element occurring in small amounts in the earth's crust. Lead is found in the air, soil, water, and in homes in the area.

The hazards of lead are commonly found in:

· Chipping or peeling paint

· Lead dust

· Lead in the soil around homes

· Water supply from lead lined pipes and laterals

Ms. Conklin stated that children are at highest risk of lead poisoning due to their growing bodies’ absorption rate being more than adults.

The presentation showed the precautions that make lead poisoning 100% preventable. Wauwatosa Health Department (WHD) recommends blood tests before age three to measure any lead in their blood. Homeowners should be testing paint and dust in the home if the home was built before 1978. Homeowners should use certified contractors when doing renovations. It is also important to stay up to date on current recalls of toys and toy jewelry and remove or discard appropriately.

Ms. Conklin provided information regarding a comprehensive lead exposure prevention program required by State Statute 254.15 and services provided by the WHD for State required follow-up.

Mr. Simpson explained how lead can enter drinking water through corroded lead pipes. He stated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) in 1991. LCR is required to prevent lead and copper from contaminating drinking water. Wauwatosa’s water is supplied by Milwaukee Water Works. They implemented corrosion control in 1996 and fully comply with the LCR and are very successful in reducing lead levels prior to corrosion control.

Mr. Simpson went on to explain the sources of lead in drinking water, and the water service types of material. The steps being taken to reduce lead in the water are as follows:

· Projects that involve water main relays include fully replacing the City owned portion of service lines with new High Density Polyethylene pipe

· Service repairs now replace City owned portion of the lateral instead of patching the leak

· Water filtering pitchers given to all homes with lateral disturbance by City work

· Encourage property owners to consider replacing their portion of the lead service line when the City replaces their portion

Senate Bill 48 created two options for assisting private property owners with the replacement of lead service lines.

Staff recommendations for increasing and expanding a lead exposure prevention program are as follows:

· Continue all water division programs including offering replacement of City owned lead service lines when property owners choose to replace their portion of the line as longs as funding allows

· Develop a program that offers Water Utility funded water test kits to Wauwatosa residents who have children in their home age five or younger or have expectant mothers residing in the home. The City would allow residents to pick up a test kit at the Health Department and send the test kit in for analysis free of charge once every five years

· Develop a program that offers free replacement of the property owner’s side of the lead service line for households with low income utilizing CDGB funding and the framework we have in place for Wauwatosa’s Home Repair Program

Members of the public that wished to be heard were:

Barb Schoenherr, 1324 N. 74th Street, questioned when these options for lateral replacement and water filtering pitchers go into effect. She and neighbors were not approached.

Cheryl Nenn, 2400 N. 58th Street, stated options for implementing SB48 for those lower income residents that are unable to pay for replacement laterals. She said that other municipalities have subsidized up to 50% and the remainder could go onto the tax bill to be paid over time.

Diane Daglin, 8444 Hill Street, member of Interfaith Earth Network and Milwaukee Water Commons, suggested that while laterals are being replaced over time, the best option right now is to use filters. The programs Ms. Daglin is involved with promote the use of water filters and good nutrition.

Pete Gaveras, 1244 N 86th Street, stated that the City should offer lead testing to every resident and include pets.

The Committee asked questions regarding the amount of homes being tested for lead levels within the DNR requirements. Mr. Simpson verified that the DNR is looking for an average overall and not individual homes.

After further discussion between Mr. Simpson and the Committee about the initiatives, priorities of departments, and budget concerns, the Committee suggested that Mr. Simpson, the Water Department, and the Health Department submit a proposed program for consideration. Mr. Simpson stated that he would work with the other departments and develop a program for the Committee to review.

This item was for informational purposes only. No action was taken.