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Clarksburg fined for not sending notice of lead water lines

July 14, 2021 GMT

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — The Clarksburg Water Board failed to notify the public about the risk of lead exposure in drinking water and now faces fines from the state, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said Wednesday.

The department earlier this month said it began reviewing the lines after sampling in several homes showed lead levels above a limit set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Since the issuance of a state order on July 2, Clarksburg officials failed to send notices to households potentially served by lead service lines within three business days. The Clarksburg Public Water System serves approximately 17,686 people and provides water to other public water systems that serves as an additional 38,225 people, according to the state.

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The board also failed to provide public education about lead service lines within five business days of the state’s order.

The state said the water board faces fines of up to $5,000 a day for noncompliance.

The health department will work with the EPA to identify lead service lines and ensure the board follows the state’s order, state health officer Dr. Ayne Amjad said in a statement.

“We remain very concerned about the public health situation in Clarksburg and stand ready to protect the health and well-being of the customers of the water system, as well as ensure compliance,” Amjad said.

Amjad has urged parents of young children who live in older homes to discuss the risk of lead exposure with a pediatrician.

Lead lines were phased out in the 1950s, the agency said in a news release, and it’s unlikely homes built after 1960 would have them.