Local News


Some lead found in Nevada water systems

Posted at 12:03 PM, Apr 11, 2016
About 1,400 water systems in the United States have tested positive for lead, some of them in Nevada. 
In the wake of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, the Associated Press analyzed Environmental Protection Agency data. 
Any amount of lead in water is considered dangerous, but there is a breaking point when action must be taken to halt the hazard.  
For lead, that level is 15 parts per billion (ppb), which would be like 15 drops of ink in a tanker truck full of water. When 10 percent or more of samples taken in a water system exceed 15ppb, that's when authorities must take steps to notify customers and make changes. 
In Nevada, we found more than a half dozen water systems, serving about 2,000 people had one time samples over the limit.  
Let's take a look at the results in Clark County:
Kapex Water System in North Las Vegas tested at 71ppb in 2012. About 25 people use that water. 
A North Las Vegas official says equipment was replaced and samples taken since then have come back good.  
Lead was found once in a tap sample at Lake Mead in Katherine Landing -- a level 47ppb there in 2014.  
The National Park Service provided the following statement:
A water sample taken at one park housing unit on Sept. 10, 2014, came back with a reading of .092 mg/L, which is above the action level of .015 mg/L.
We are not sure what caused this reading. The home was built in 1992, and does not contain any lead pipes or lead paint. No other housing units that receive their water from the same source tested above the action level. We believe the result might have been a result of a sampling error.  
Future testing has been done at this same residence, and all tests have come back below the action level. No one is currently residing in this housing unit. 
One of the highest we found in Nevada was at Harris Springs Ranch, a WestCare Nevada facility for the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse. A single sample from Harris Springs Ranch showed 120ppb in the water.
WestCare provided the following statement:
"WestCare Nevada has been made aware of this matter and is taking the appropriate steps to investigate and confirm that it is in full compliance with all safety standards."
But there's good news for most of us as Las Vegas Valley Water District results show zero samples above the 15ppb mark.

The Associated Press prepared the following databases from information reported to the EPA:

Click for all water systems with over-the-limit samples.
Click for all water systems that have been tested for lead during the past decade.