Service Line Inventory (Coming 2024!)
Lead in Drinking Water
Is there lead in Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA) drinking water? Lead in drinking water generally comes from the pipes or plumbing rather than the drinking water source. Water that is the slightest bit corrosive can leach lead out of pipes or plumbing into drinking water. In the 1800s and early 1900s, lead was commonly used to make pipes, especially the service line from the water main to the house. Lead was also widely used in paint and gasoline. Lead piping was banned in 1986. In 1991, EPA began regulating lead levels in drinking water. Most of BJWSA's system is relatively new and built of ductile iron or plastic pipe. When we find a lead fitting in the older parts of our system, we immediately replace it.
BJWSA has treatment processes to prevent lead or copper in pipes from reaching drinking water. At our treatment plants, we feed a corrosion control product. This product forms a coating on the interior of the pipe to prevent the leaching of lead into drinking water from the pipe or plumbing. We use a product best suited to our water. BJWSA feeds this corrosion control product continuously and measures the quantity daily to ensure its proper use. The absence of a corrosion control chemical caused some of the problems in Flint, Michigan, that you likely heard about. BJWSA also controls and monitors pH, the acidity of water, to further ensure the water is non-corrosive.
Lead is a dangerous substance, particularly for children. What happened in Flint and other places where customers were exposed to high levels of lead and other water quality problems, was tragic and terrible. These failures broke trust and compromised people's health. BJWSA's mission is to provide quality waste and wastewater services to our current and future customers in the Lowcountry. We do not skimp or take shortcuts when it comes to safety or public health. BJWSA's operators work 24/7 to ensure the safety of drinking water. We take customer questions and complaints seriously and respond quickly. Most BJWSA employees are also BJWSA customers. We drink the water we make, and so do our families. We will not let what happened in Flint happen here.