Elevated Copper Levels Detected In Two Oak Pointe Homes
March 6, 2018
Two of the ten homes that were originally constructed in the Oak Pointe subdivision were found to have elevated copper levels.
After the Flint water crisis, Genoa Township initiated a corrosion control study on the Oak Pointe water system to be proactive. Corrosion control chemicals are added at the water treatment plant, which then go out in a distribution system. State required testing found elevated copper levels in two of the ten old, original homes in the Oak Pointe subdivision. Copper is a mineral found throughout the human body and is not considered a big health risk, except for those with Wilson’s disease. Utilities Director Greg Tatara briefed the township board on the situation during Monday night’s meeting, stressing there have been no violations of any kind and they will be working to mitigate potential problems.
Tatara tells WHMI lead has been virtually non-detected in every sample they’ve had but for some reason, they seem to be having trouble with copper in the plumbing in the two homes. He noted the Oak Pointe water system is groundwater with a PH of 7, and very neutral water tends to pull things in to it. He says they don’t soften the water so there is not a lot to further coat metals and piping.
Tatara says they’ll be doing source water sampling to identify the chemical composition of the water further, which will help consultants and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality make recommendations on corrosion control chemical adjustments. Currently a blend of both ortho and poly phosphates are added at the Oak Pointe water treatment plant, which are said to be working outstanding for lead. Tatara anticipates they’ll likely go to more of an ortho-phosphate blend to further coat the metals in household plumbing and provide further protections for residents.
Letters will be going out to Oak Pointe residents with some instructions to reduce potential concerns, such as flushing out water in faucets before drinking in the morning. Tatara says there is nothing to be concerned about and they will be very diligent in correcting it. He says they’ll be making some changes to corrosion control chemicals in next 30-60 days, do further testing, and then notify residents when the results are known.
A link to fact sheet on copper in drinking water is provided. (JM)