City Response to Gahanna-Jefferson Public School Notification on Lead Levels

The City of Gahanna has received some inquiries regarding the notice sent out by Gahanna-Jefferson Public School (GJPS) District on elevated levels of lead found in some of their sink faucets in classrooms and other school areas. The City of Gahanna Department of Public Service Water Division is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, and the issue occurring in the schools appears to be isolated in the areas identified by GJPS and may be a result of the variety of materials used in plumbing components.

Gahanna’s water distribution system is compliant with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (OEPA) requirements for lead and copper testing which is required to be performed every three years.  The latest round of testing was completed earlier this year.  This year’s sampling showed that our water distribution system is well within compliance with OEPA regulations.

The main source of lead and copper is from service lines, interior plumbing fixtures, and materials used in the plumbing of private residences and businesses, not the City mains.  To our knowledge, the City of Gahanna does not have any lead mains or service lines.

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children.  As previously stated, lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with private service lines and home plumbing. When water has been sitting for several hours, residents can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing their tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.

Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps residents can take to minimize exposure is available from the U.S. EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or online at www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.