New Round Of Lead Testing Starts For Sacramento State Drinking Water

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A second round of testing has begun at Sacramento State after elevated levels of lead were found in drinking water across campus in January.

Now, a private consultant hired by the university is testing the water to make sure levels are safe.

But the consultant is using a different method of testing and isn’t shutting down any water sources unless they exceed a certain amount of lead.

The consultant, California Industrial Hygiene Services, is only looking for lead levels that exceed the EPA action level, which is 15 parts per billion.

Students and staff continue to drink from campus water fountains more than a month after University administrators discovered lead in several hundred drinking water sources.

“I have a 3-year-old and 1-year-old at home and I’m breastfeeding the 1-year-old, so I don’t know what that can do to me, so I bring water from home,” said Fersilena Bacallan.

Bacallan isn’t taking any chances. She brings water from home, and even washes her hands with sanitizer after using the bathroom sink.

“It’s still an issue it’s a big issue,” Bacallan said.

“There’s no acceptable amount of lead that should be in the body,” said Steve Leland, Director of Environmental Health and Safety.

Leland says the consultant the University hired to test the water sources is only looking for lead levels that exceed the EPA action level of 15 parts per billion.

Leland says the University will not take action if the amount of lead found in drinking sources exceeds the State’s public health goal of 0.2 parts per billion or the FDA’s goal of 5 ppb.

“That’s the standard we have to follow moving forward, that’s the regulatory limit,” Leland added.

“It’s a dangerous compound it doesn’t belong in water,” said Doctor Jeffery Foran, Chair of Environmental Studies at Sac State.

Dr. Foran initiated the study back in January and says any amount of lead exceeding the State’s public health goal is a health hazard.

His hope is to have the University follow his recommendation to shut off all drinking sources that exceed FDA levels, for the safety of the Sac State community.

“It’s unsettling without a doubt; if someone told me I have lead in my water I will take action to do something about it,” said Dr. Foran.

Dr. Foran says he’s doing his own follow-up testing over spring break.

University administrators tell CBS 13 it could take months before the University determines whether it needs to take action if lead levels in the water exceed EPA levels.

More from Angela Musallam
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