By Brandon Bounds
All public water systems in Ohio are now required to update response plans for residents who may be affected by service work on water pipes containing lead.
Residents will be alerted 45 days prior to the start of a project and must be informed that the project may cause a temporary increase of lead levels in drinking water. Water companies will offer them lead water filters for up to three months and provide instructions on how to properly install them.
The Cleveland Water Department said they plan to provide these filters free of charge.
The new regulations went into effect on Oct. 1.
The regulations were in response to a lead emergency in 2016 near Dayton. A road construction project by the hospital feared to have dislodged lead-contaminated residue in a pipe, which sent water into several hospital buildings with lead levels five to 10 times higher than what is allowed under the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines.