The City of Berea has announced the detection of lead in its drinking water distribution system that exceeds the federal/state 'action level.'

In routine testing done earlier this month, two of the city's 15 collections exceeded the acceptable amount of lead micrograms per liter established by the Ohio EPA. Additional testing is scheduled for Friday and the city hopes to get results within five days. Berea is working with Ohio EPA officials to determine the cause of the two elevated readings.

Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Residents can reduce their lead exposure by running water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using in order to flush out the lead, and using only cold water to drink or prepare baby formula.

Residents are advised to visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website for more information about lead.

The Berea Water Treatment Plant is presently making adjustments to its treatment process and is also retesting lead levels.

In a statement issued on Thursday evening, the city of Berea noted that EPA regulations permit the testing to be done by either water plant personnel or by the resident end-user. Berea has permitted residents to provide testing samples which assumes that they follow certain procedures before the test and to use the same sink they would normally drink from, using cold water only.

If the resident fails to follow the guidelines, the results could be inaccurate. Also, the city points out that the required tests are taken inside a house at a normal drinking tap like in a bathroom or kitchen. Many homes still have lead piping or lead solder in the home, which will cause an elevated result.

The city advises those with concerns that they may have lead piping or solder should contact a plumber to determine what action, if any, will be required of the homeowner.

In addition, the plant has contacted three local laboratories certified to perform chemical analyses on public drinking water. If you would like your water tested for lead, you can contact any of the following laboratories for instructions:

Biosolutions LLC.
10180 Queens Way #6
Chagrin Falls, OH 44023

CWM Environmental, Inc.
4450 Johnson Parkway, Unit B
Cleveland, OH 44128

NEORSD Analytical Services
4747 East 49th Street
Cuyahoga Heights, OH 44125