Tacoma Water has been working to identify locations of lead goosenecks that may still exist in its water system. As part of that, the utility conducted special sampling at four customers’ homes and found unexpected levels of lead.
Tacoma Water currently estimates that up to 1,700 lead goosenecks may still exist in the area it serves. The utility has combed through its records, many of which are more than 100 years old, to identify houses and businesses that may have lead goosenecks – short sections of pipe that connects the galvanized service pipe to the water main.
A map, which is available at bit.ly/gnlocations, shows the areas where lead goosenecks may exist. People served by Tacoma Water can visit that web page to learn whether their home or business might have a lead gooseneck, and to request further information or testing if appropriate.
“Providing safe water is very important to us. Tacoma Water is working on a plan to pay for water testing at the homes and businesses where lead goosenecks are suspected,” said Tacoma Public Utility Board Chair Bryan Flint. “The plan and schedule for testing may take some time, so we appreciate customer patience as we work through the details. Between now and then, those who may have lead goosenecks should continue to flush their water.”
“Tacoma Water is taking a proactive and transparent approach to this potential lead issue”, said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “We learned today that none of the schools in the Tacoma School District are connected to the system with lead goosenecks. We will share information regarding other locations that serve vulnerable populations as it comes in.”
Customers not identified as having potential lead goosenecks should still consider flushing their water after long periods without use.
To flush pipes at home or at a business, people should:
- Run their water for at least two minutes. This is especially important if they have not used water for 6 hours.
- Once the pipes have been cleared, run their water for 15 seconds before drinking or cooking