sampling

FORNEY, Texas — The City of Forney's failure to perform additional required in-home sampling and reporting after copper and lead tests conducted in 2018 exceeded the city's Action Level have prompted a notification from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality warning of high lead and/or copper in the city's water distribution system.

Each year, the City of Forney is required to obtain in-home samples and perform tests for lead and copper. In 2018, the City of Forney obtained and tested 30 samples, of which, 90 percent were required to be under the city's Action Level (AL), of maximum contamination level (MCL) of 0.015 milligrams per liter — therefore, the AL allowed no more than three samples over the MCL.

"The results obtained by the City included five samples over the MCL, which exceeded our AL and required additional testing," read a statement from the City of Forney. "The failure to perform the additional samples is why all account holders are receiving this notice."

"While we didn’t perform the required sampling in the required timeframe, there was/is no health threat or emergency," continued the statement.

30 in-home samples and tests conducted this year have been under the MCL, including the five locations that tested above the MCL in 2018. Three of those five locations were considered "non-detect," meaning the level of lead was below the laboratory's ability to measure, according to the City of Forney.

A second round of in-home sampling and testing will be conducted in July.

According to the City of Forney, older homes with lead or copper pipes with solder are affected due to the substances leaching into their water coming out of their faucet. By law, lead pipes and plumbing components containing lead are no longer allowed in new construction.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you or your family," read the statement from the City of Forney. "We strive to provide the highest quality water to our residents and believe that the sample results we have received thus far in 2019 demonstrate that."

"Corrosion control, and necessary components, will be in place by October 1, 2019 IF the determination is made that this additional treatment step is warranted," continued the statement, in part.

The City of Forney provided the following steps to reduce exposure to lead and/or copper:

  • Call us at the number below to find out how to get your water tested for lead and copper.
  • Find out whether your pipes contain lead, lead solder, or copper.
  • Run your water for 15-30 seconds or until it becomes cold before using it for drinking or cooking. This flushes any standing lead and copper from the pipes.
  • Don’t cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead and copper dissolves more easily into hot water.
  • Do not boil your water to remove lead and copper. Excessive boiling water makes the lead and copper more concentrated – the lead and copper remains when the water evaporates.

Additional information from the City of Forney and the TCEQ:

*Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure. Children and adults who drink water containing copper in excess could experience stomach and intestinal distress as well as liver and/or kidney damage.

Copper Health Effects: Short term exposure: Gastrointestinal distress, Long term exposure: Liver or kidney damage, People with Wilson's Disease should consult their personal doctor if the amount of copper in their water exceeds the action level. (See additional information below regarding health effects.)

For more information, please contact Rick Sailler at 972.564.7343 or rsailler@cityofforney.org.

Mathew Richards has been covering local and breaking news in Forney since 2012, later expanding that coverage throughout Kaufman County. Send tips directly to the attached email or our news desk at News@inForney.com.