June 25, 2022

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Billings Public Works recommends service line test for lead pipes in older homes | News

Billings Public Works recommends service line test for lead pipes in older homes | News

A warning for homeowners tonight from Billings Public Works — if your home is older — your drinking water may not be as safe as you think it is. 

Public works says — if your house was built before 1960 — it could still be fitted with lead pipes. 

High levels of lead in drinking water can cause serious damage to the brain and other internal organs — especially if consumed by children — according to the EPA. 

Scott Emerick of public works says — while there is no lead in the water sourced from the Yellowstone river –there is great concern for people who own homes with the outdated piping 

That’s why the city is asking residents who suspect they may have lead pipes  to go online and report what kind of service lines they have installed — to see if they need to get them replaced. 

  Scott Emerick, says “This is what we are after – these lead ones. They are kind of a grey metallic pipe and that’s what we are asking customers to identify so that we can get an inventory of these lead services and help with getting them replaced.”    

Emerick explains the responsibility line for residents and the city, “from the city main to the property line – the curve valve. If those are lead, we have a program where we are replacing those and right now, we have able 91 left to do but from the curve valve from the house we aren’t certain how many exists out there right now.” > 

The city is asking residents who suspect they may have lead pipes — to go online and report it — to see if they need to get them replaced.  

Water Quality Superintendent — Louis Engels — says even with a lead testing service the water in billings is perfectly fine to drink. 

The Yellowstone river provides the city with water which they thoroughly test for quality and drinkability.  

Louis says, “Even if you do find you have one – your water is still safe because again that water – what is does it puts a mineral scale on the lead pipes so that it’s not pulling lead off of the pipe – it’s actually depositing a little bit of scale protecting you.” 

In addition to the service line inventory survey –- public works says you can schedule a free in-home service inspection.