Lead levels in Medford home nearly 30x the EPA standard

lead pigtail on oakdaleUPDATE: Water samples taken from a home on Oakdale Avenue where a lead pigtail was found last month show lead levels that exceed the EPA’s action level of 15 ppb (parts per billion). The results were given to the affected residents last night. The Medford Water

Commission drew 11 samples. The eighth sample – which the commission believes came from the pigtail- shows lead levels at 439 ppb. That’s nearly 30 times the amount allowed by the EPA.

It’s the first time a test like this has been done by the Medford Water Commission. They chose to begin testing at the direction of the board, when it became public that lead pigtails may still be in-use among some 5,000 homes that pre-date 1946. While they have yet to release their exact findings until the homeowners are notified, Manager Larry Rains says the sample showed high levels of lead.

“The first draw was high which is at the sink, someplace in the house,” Larry Rains told NBC5 News, “and then we took more draws to try to get a sample where the lead pigtail was and at the lead pigtail where we think it was, it was high as well.”

The Medford Water Commission is not responsible for pipes or fixtures on someone’s property that may cause elevated metal levels at the sink, and the commission has always met EPA guidelines at the 30 homes they test every 3 years.

So far in their investigation of 1700+ meters, 5 pigtails have been found, and they’ve all been from lines that date back to 1909.

Meanwhile, the Water Commission board has hired a third party consulting firm to complete a performance review of Larry Rains. Rains has not had a review in over 2 years.


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