Excessive levels of lead have been in found in three water sources at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.
Pierce County officials notified the Health Department on Friday that three water taps in the Health Department offices came up with high lead levels in a recent round of government-building testing, Health Department spokeswoman Edie Jeffers said Monday. All three taps were in staff-only areas, Jeffers said. None were drinking fountains.
Water from the three sources was found to contain more lead than the 15 parts per billion safety standard used by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Water from one had 37 parts per billion of lead; the others had 21 and 18 parts per billion.
Although the taps weren’t ordinarily used to provide drinking water, health staffers posted signs that warn not to use the water for drinking as soon as results came in, Jeffers said.
A round of follow-up testing was done Monday to confirm the findings, Jeffers said. Results are expected later in the week. Jeffers said that the isolated findings probably indicate that the lead is coming from fixtures around the faucets, rather than in the building’s water supply.
Pierce County spokeswoman Libby Catalinich said the county is completing a two-round process of testing for lead in the water of the county’s owned and leased buildings. She could not provide the total number of buildings being tested. She said testing results are expected this month.