Rathdrum records unacceptable level of lead in drinking water

RATHDRUM, Idaho - The City of Rathdrum is reporting that in the required sampling of water for lead and copper, 3 out of 23 samples collected this year were above 15 parts per billion. This is the first time in the City's history (1993-Present) that this has happened. As a result, the city is collecting samples from all wells and distribution mains. They expect those results by mid-December. 

Here's what the city suggests residents do: 

1. Run your water to flush out lead. If the tap hasn't been used for several hours, run water for 15-30 seconds to flush lead from interior plumbing or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking.

2. Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to cook, drink, or make baby formula.

3. Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.

4. Look for alternative sources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter. Read the package to be sure the filter is approved to reduce lead. Be sure to maintain and replace a filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to protect water quality.

5. Test your water for lead. Call us at the number listed below to find out how to get your water tested for lead. A list of Idaho certified laboratories is available at


6. Get your child’s blood tested. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead, if you are concerned about exposure.

7. Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Brass faucets, fittings, and valves, including those advertised as “lead-free,” may contribute lead to drinking water. Prior to January 2014, the law allowed fixtures, such as faucets, with up to 8% lead to be labeled as “lead free.” “Lead free” is now defined as a weighted average of less than or equal to 0.25%. Visit the National Sanitation Foundation website atwww.nsf.orgto learn more about lead-containing plumbing fixtures. 

Read the full letter sent to residents HERE:https://www.rathdrum.org/vertical/sites/%7BB217A04D-FA9D-403A-9D25-24962991B1D9%7D/uploads/Important_Lead_Education_Info_12-2-19.pdf

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