Some residents in Garden City have found lead in their drinking water, and many are therefore testing the water in their homes for lead, which can be very unhealthy and dangerous, especially for children. If you would like to test your home’s water for lead, you can get a free test kit through the NYS Dept of Health.
To get a free test kit, you can email: FreeWaterTesting@health.ny.gov and provide the following information:
1. your name;
2. your phone number;
3. your e-mail address;
4. address for sample location and address for mailing test kit, if different;
5. county for sample location;
6. 1st choice for participating laboratory selected from the list below; and
7. 2nd choice for participating laboratory selected from the list below.
List of Laboratories
– Advanced Analytical Technologies, Orangeburg, Rockland County
– EMSL Analytical, Inc., New York, New York County
– Envirotest Laboratories, Inc., Newburgh, Orange County
– Erie County Public Health Laboratory, Buffalo, Erie County
– NY Environmental and Analytical Labs Inc., Port Washington, Nassau County
– Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research, Valhalla, Westchester County
According to the EPA, if your test is positive, you can take the following steps.
- Learn if you have a lead service line. Contact your water utility or a licensed plumber to determine if the pipe that connects your home to the water main (called a service line) is made from lead. If a lead service line is discovered, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to replace it.
- Run your water. Before drinking, flush your home’s pipes by running the tap, taking a shower, doing laundry, or doing a load of dishes. The amount of time to run the water will depend on whether your home has a lead service line or not, and the length of the lead service line. Residents should contact their water utility for recommendations about flushing times in their community.
- Learn about construction in your neighborhood. Be aware of any construction or maintenance work that could disturb your lead service line. Construction may cause more lead to be released from a lead service line.
- Use cold water. Use only cold water for drinking, cooking and making baby formula. Remember, boiling water does not remove lead from water.
- Clean your aerator. Regularly clean your faucet’s screen (also known as an aerator). Sediment, debris, and lead particles can collect in your aerator. If lead particles are caught in the aerator, lead can get into your water.
- Use your filter properly. If you use a filter, make sure you use a filter certified to remove lead. Read the directions to learn how to properly install and use your cartridge and when to replace it. Using the cartridge after it has expired can make it less effective at removing lead. Do not run hot water through the filter.
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