Houghton gets clean results in latest water tests for lead

HOUGHTON — Houghton got another clean round of lead and copper testing from the state Department of Environmental Quality, a year after tests showed elevated lead levels in three homes.

The 90th-percentile level for lead was 4 parts per billion — well below the 15 parts per billion that would have required action, said City Manager Eric Waara.

In this latest round of testing, the copper level was 1 part per million, below the action level of 1.3.

“The corrective measures that we had made to the pH adjustment system seem to have done what they’re supposed to do,” he said.

The November 2017 tests showed high levels of lead at three homes in the city. The homes are among 20 in the city tested for lead and copper levels every three years due to their age.

That test was the first since the 1990s to show actionable levels of copper or lead contamination, believed to result from plumbing inside the homes. They had fallen back under the action threshold in subsequent test results.

The next round of testing will be done in September.

“We just want to get the students back in town and wait a couple of weeks for everybody to get their routines in order before we do another round of lead and copper sampling,” Waara said.