SCOTIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Village of Scotia recently found elevated levels of lead in routine water testing, according to a public notice posted November 30. Residents on the village’s water system were sent a letter in the mail about the health effects of lead, which they should expect by the week’s end, officials said.

“Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources, especially for pregnant women and children six years and younger,” the village said in a press release. The letter sent to village residents explains that lead can cause damage to a person’s brain and kidneys and can interfere with the body’s production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all parts of the body.

Lead can contaminate water through plumbing materials, such as lead pipes, faucets, or other fixtures. According to the village’s press release, a lead service line can be the biggest contributor of lead in drinking water when present in a home.

The State Health Department has ordered the village to test 60 homes because of the spike. The village is seeking residents to take part in tap water sampling. If selected, residents will need to take a sample from a cold tap after a six-hour period of no water use.

The water is collected in sample bottles that will be dropped off and picked up by the Department of Public Works. A form to apply for participation is available on the village’s website.

Steps you can take to reduce exposure to lead in water:

  • Run your water to flush out lead.
  • Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula.
  • Do not boil water to remove lead.
  • Replace your plumbing fixtures if they are found to contain lead.
  • Use bottled water or use a water filter.

For more information, call the village at (518) 393-2159 or visit their website. For more information on lead in drinking water, contact the Schenectady County Environmental Health Department at (518) 386-2818, or the New York State Department of Health at (800) 458-1158, extension 27650.