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Seattleites urged to run water as precaution after Tacoma lead finding

Seattle residents are urged to run their water for two minutes, if they haven't used it for six hours.

Residents of Seattle are being advised to run their water for two minutes before using it, if they haven't used their water for more than six hours, Seattle Public Utilities said.

The utility is advising residents to run their water as a temporary precaution after higher levels of lead were found in Tacoma's water supply. Seattle's water system is not connected to Tacoma's, but SPU said they're investigating whether their system could have similar problems.

Tacoma officials attribute the presence of lead in their water to sections of pipes known as "goosenecks." On the city website, the pieces of lead pipe are described as having been used between 1900 and 1940 to connect the water main to customers' service lines.

"These lead pipes could be easily bent and allowed for a flexible connection between these rigid pipes. ... Over time, Tacoma Water has removed an estimated 30,000 of the lead goosenecks while replacing old service connections," the website says.

On the Tacoma Public Utility's website, officials said, "Although Tacoma Water's system fully complies with federal lead and copper rule regulations, concerns about components installed in the early 1900s prompted special monitoring and testing beyond the regulation."

SPU said some Seattle homes may have these "goosenecks," and they are reaching out to residents to take water samples for testing.

SPU says their water is regularly tested and water samples show lead levels below the required standard.

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