Jan 28, 2019

Belton, S.C., Discovers Elevated Lead Levels in Drinking Water

The city now will test water quality for elevated lead levels every six months

Elevated lead levels found in Belton, S.C., drinking water
Elevated lead levels found in Belton, S.C., drinking water

Belton, S.C., discovered elevated levels of lead during a monitoring period between June and September 2018. The lead levels found during that period averaged 0.058 milligrams per liter and the city is required to notify the public of lead contamination when that level exceeds 0.015 milligrams per liter, according to a news release from the city.

The sampling results were revealed Jan. 24 and it is not immediately clear why the information was disclosed to the public until more than four months after the elevated lead levels were initially discovered. The city of Belton buys its water from the Belton-Honea Path Water Authority but does not treat the water after receiving it, reports Independent Mail. In a prepared release, city officials said that they are “working with the Belton-Honea Path Water Authority to address this lead action level excedance.”

According to City Manager Alan Sims, city water typically has been tested for lead every three years and was last tested in 2015 when samples were taken from 37 homes.

"The city in discussions with the Belton-Honea Path Water Authority has determined that the only change to the drinking water treatment process since the 2015 lead testing was a change in the coagulant chemical used to treat the drinking water," the city said in its prepared statement Thursday.

In consequence of the violation, the city now will begin testing water quality every six months, according to ABC News.