Durham Ordered To Retest Tap Water For Lead

The city of Durham must retest tap water for lead from selected homes within six months and increase efforts to inform residents about how to avoid exposure.

State regulators also will require Durham to submit a plan on how it will control chemical conditions that can make the city's drinking water too corrosive. The city must dig up and replace any drinking water service lines that contain lead.

An investigation by The News and Observer of Raleigh showed the city withheld results of a special internal study of lead levels in homes. That's a violation of state and federal rules.

Some residents at homes where lead levels were several times above the federal safety limit also said they were never told their tap water was tainted. The state toxicologist says that endangered their health.

Even small amounts of lead can cause brain damage and developmental problems when ingested by pregnant women and children under 6.