Local News

Durham Cited for Lead in Drinking Water

Posted March 28, 2007

— State regulators have cited Durham for having excessive levels of lead in its drinking water.

The citation, issued Tuesday by the state Division of Environmental Health, requires Durham leaders to increase testing for lead and copper and mandates that the city make sure the public knows that high levels of lead were found in tap water.

Durham failed to meet federal safety standards last year for its water. The city tested water at scores of older homes last summer after a child at a city housing project showed signs of lead poisoning.

Lead is especially toxic to young children and can cause brain damage and other developmental problems.

Regulators also cited Durham in January for failing to report the results of some of the water tests conducted last summer. As of result, the city must undergo a more intensive testing program for at least the next year.

Durham officials have maintained that city water poses no health threats.


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  • At Work Mar 29, 2007

    Thats why since my daughter ws born i have always used bottle water to make her bottles and any food prepared. It's sad how they dont think about all the kides but especially babies.

  • kstor33 Mar 29, 2007

    Wow...some people are soooooooo sensitive! Lighten up folks! Don't take yourselves so seriously. Just because someone cracks a joke doesn't mean they don't care. Life would be a pretty boorish and gruesome place if we always had to CRY about everything. Thicken your skin.

  • normalthinking Mar 29, 2007

    maybe there is a cause and affect going on here, high lead in water, high crime in durham, ya never know, an i do not have any racisit intent in this statement just in case WRAL is censoring again.

  • Tackman792000 Mar 29, 2007

    Once the water leaves the water plants until it reaches the residential plumbing it should be lead free, which test show it is in Durham. Like heidi9lives stated the problems are in residential plumbing in older homes. The pipes may be lead lined or the solder used to connect pipes may contain levels of lead. Even some of the older sink fixtures were made with lead. That's one of the reasons the City of Durham, Duke Univ., Durham Affordable Housing Coalition, and others have formed a Lead Summit to be held April 18 at City Hall in Durham from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Durham has also has a problem with lead based pain in some pre 1978 constructed homes. The City of Durham has a grant through US HUD to do testing and abatement in qualified homes.

  • baileysmom3 Mar 29, 2007

    Most likely the lead came from the pipes. Many old houses in durham have lead pipes. I want to see someone actually test the water at the source, (the water plant.) Then tell me it has lead in it. I used to work there at the water plant, i d like to see some more diffinitive tests other then at old houses.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Mar 29, 2007

    They say it poses no health risk but what about the child that got sic from drinking the water in Penrith Townhomes?

    They are joking. To knowingly withhold this informations from citizens should be a felony. Children can suffer serious brain damage from high levels of lead. It is sad how some people just dont care.

  • kristinambuckner Mar 29, 2007


  • BR549-ssdd Mar 28, 2007

    Lactose- Intolerance... I think you have got something there!!

  • IteachforJesus Mar 28, 2007

    And I thought only Hillsborough put something in the water to test on people...

  • happyday Mar 28, 2007

    maybe the lead is causing brain damage leading to the high crime rate. people are going crazy it seems, maybe we'll see this as a next legal defense "the Lead made me do it!"