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The Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC) provides household water for East Carolina University. As a water supplier the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that GUC comply with Federal Safe Drinking Water Levels. GUC must demonstrate compliance by periodic sampling. In 2004, routine water analysis revealed elevated levels of lead in 22% of GUC's compliance samples. As a result, a study was implemented by GUC to determine the source and scope of lead contamination. It was determined that the lead was not in the water being provided by GUC, but was the result of corrosion of piping systems in customers' homes. Over the next several years GUC implemented practices to lower the corrosiveness of its water product. In 2007, GUC compliance water samples were shown to be within EPA limits for lead.
Although the University was not sampled as part of the GUC study, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and GUC sampled water in our buildings to determine if a problem existed on campus. EH&S, along with Facilities Services, have screened building fixtures and removed those with lead when found. For instance, the EPA determined in the early 1990's that lead-lined tanks and piping in water fountains may contribute lead to the water. EH&S and Facilities Services identified the water fountains on the EPA list and removed them. In addition, EH&S has responded to water concerns and potential problems and collected water samples from several of our buildings. EH&S will continue communicate with GUC and collect water samples should conditions warrant.