What Are Your Rights: Elevated Lead Levels In Troy Drinking Water

Recorded on April 10, 2024

A recent water quality report in Troy revealed drinking water samples with lead levels 10 times higher than the EPA’s action level limit. What does this mean for local families? Managing partner Paul Harding from the law firm of Harding Mazzotti, LLP is on CBS6 to explain.

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Announcer: The following segment is sponsored by Harding Mazzotti.

Interviewer: A new water quality report in Troy showed that drinking water samples with lead levels 10 times higher than the EPA’s action level limit were happening. So what does this mean for local families who might be impacted? We have managing partner, Paul Harding here from Harding Mazzotti. So first of all, what were these levels? How dangerous were they?

Paul: So, you know, you hear 10 times and it gets your attention, right? Attention-getter. And not all, some of the samples were that high, and it’s high, but not that high, right? It’s more than EPA wants, but at that point, you know, what danger can it cause? I think the way to play it is play it on the safe side. We’ve got these old pipes everywhere, they’re lead pipes, and so as they start to decay, it just starts to minimize the impact of that and some of that lead gets into the water. So it’s an attention-getter, you know. Again, they haven’t shut down like we’ve seen before when other contaminants have gotten in water. We’re not shutting the water down in Troy. People are paying attention to it.

Interviewer: Right. And what kind of risks are there associated with lead exposure?

Paul: Yeah, so the risks are mostly to young people, you know, and/or pregnant women. And again, you know, I did take a look at this and in terms of what the risk would be, it would be a multiple of that for a consistent period of time to really, I think, put that fear factor in there, but something’s gotta be done. I mean, the answer is we want it below what the EPA standard is.

Interviewer: Right. And the city is already taking action.

Paul: Taking action. You can call the city. They’ll come test your water. They’ve got money, federal grants, some state grants to try to change that piping in. And so they’re doing something. It’s free if you want them to come test your water. And then, of course, you know, we live in a world of bottled water and things like that also.

Interviewer: Is there anything else that residents can do in the short term, especially if they’re concerned about the health of the people in their family?

Paul: You know, a surprise to me was that if you just run the water, and they said between 10 and 15 seconds, somehow that high lead level drops, it’s gone. So, you know, again, feels a little too easy, but the lead is sitting there, you turn it on, it dilutes so it’s below what the EPA standard is. It’s safe at that point. Yeah, I think, you know, just the reasonableness of just keeping track and making sure that the city replaces those pipes. And see where you’re situated. You may be in a place where there’s no pipes, right? So I guess you wanna know where you are in the pond.

Interviewer: Yeah, and how you’re impacted. All right. Thank you so much. For more information covered in our weekly “What Are Your Rights?” segments, or to send us a story idea, head to our website, cbs6albany.com, and we will have more information there.

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