Bristow Homeowners Warned About Lead Levels In Water

Thursday, August 4th 2016, 6:00 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

Nearly 2,000 homeowners in one Green Country community have questions about the safety of the water flowing into their homes.

Bristow residents are now being warned their water may contain high levels of lead.

The City said six homes have excessive levels of lead in the water, but everyone who has a water account with the city received a letter last week.

Deborah Havener said she's noticed something odd in her water in the past year or two.

"Like when I run water to cook something, there's white sediment in the bottom of the pans and bowls,” she said. “And if you cook something that you wanna reheat the next day, to me, it tastes bitter and awful, I don't like it."

The EPA said lead can't be seen, tasted or smelled in water.

"It looks normal, it really does. Has no smell or nothing. It's just after you run it," Havener said.

She said she's not going to risk it.

"I buy bottled water. I use it to cook with, drink, everything," she said.

In a letter from the City of Bristow, people are asked to flush out any lead by running the water for 15 to 30 seconds, and to only use cold water for cooking. It adds "boiling water will not reduce lead."

The letter also says if lead levels persist, parents should have their children's blood tested.

Havener said, "On there it tells you, have your children checked, this and that, and I'm thinking, it's the city's responsibility to take care of the water - not the people you know who drink it, and everything. We pay good money for our water."

The City's letter says water samples with high lead were taken in June.

The mayor's office said the city received the test results July 11th but needed to wait until a July 26th meeting with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality before alerting residents.

Havener said she does not plan to have her water tested.

"See what they're gonna do. If nothing else, I'm just gonna use bottled water - be on the safe side," she said.

The City of Bristow said it sent more water samples to a lab in Tulsa. It could take three weeks to a month to get the results back.

The City said it also hired an engineering firm to help solve the problem.