Health alert: Lead in drinking water in Berthoud

Posted at 12:12 PM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 14:12:56-04

The Town of Berthoud announced that elevated levels of lead were found in the drinking water in some homes and buildings.

"Five out of 40 samples recently analyzed for lead and copper within the Town of Berthoud's drinking water distribution system resulted in elevated levels of lead," officials said in a release sent to Denver7.

"Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children," officials stated. "Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults."

"[Lead] can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body," the statement continued. "Lead is stored in the bones, and it can be released later in life."

Officials encouraged residents to take the following steps to reduce exposure to lead in water:

1. Run your water to flush out lead. If it hasn’t been used for several hours, run the cold water tap until the temperature is noticeably colder. This flushes lead-containing water from the pipes. To conserve water, remember to catch the flushed tap water for plants or some other household use (e.g., cleaning).

2. Always use cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula. Never cook with or drink water from the hot water tap. Never use water from the hot water tap to make formula.

3. Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.

4. Periodically remove and clean the faucet’s strainer/aerator. While removed, run the water to remove debris.

5. You may consider investing in a home water treatment device or alternative water source.
When purchasing a water treatment device, make sure it is certified under Standard 53 by NSF International to remove lead. Contact NSF at 1-800-NSF-8010, or visit the Water Quality Association’s website at

6. Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Brass faucets, fittings and valves, including those advertised as “lead- free,” may leach lead into drinking water. The NSF website at has more information on lead-containing plumbing fixtures. You should use only lead- certified contractors.

7. Have a licensed electrician check your wiring. If grounding wires from the electrical system are attached to your pipes, corrosion may be greater. Check with a licensed electrician or your local electric code to determine if your wiring can be grounded elsewhere. DO NOT attempt to change the wiring yourself because improper grounding can cause electrical shock and fire hazards.

8.     Parents should consult with a medical professional for advice about whether to have their child’s blood tested for lead.

Officials stated that they are in the process of developing a corrosion control treatment program that will be implemented in the "near future."

"In addition, the Town is currently working on revising its lead and copper sampling site pool... to ensure that sampling is being performed at the highest risk sites," according to the statement. 

If you would like your home or business to be considered to become a sampling site, you are encouraged to contact the Town's Water Department at 970-532-2393.