Fewer samples of copper in water

By Mary Lou Gorny
Hilltop Times Editor
January 3, 2013

A memorandum was issued by Col. Sarah Zabel, 75th Air Base Wing commander, dated Dec. 21, that reported only two samples of water showed copper levels similar to those initially collected in July and reported in September. These findings in December, she cautions, do not mean the status has changed because the initial findings came as a result of pipe corrosion. Everyone is urged to follow the same basic recommendations as given initially.

The first recommendation is that in the morning the water should be turned on for 30 seconds to a minute before use. This should be done to help flush potential copper from the tap anytime the water has not been used for a long period of time.

Secondly, use cold water for cooking and to prepare baby's formula as it is more difficult for copper to dissolve into cold water. Then the water may be heated to the desired temperature.

Also of note: Boiling water will not eliminate copper from the water.

Concerning the implications of such findings of copper the initial report in September read as follows:

"Copper is an essential nutrient, but some people who drink water containing copper in excess of the action level over a relatively short period of time could experience gastrointestinal distress. Some people who drink water containing copper in excess of the action level over many years could suffer liver or kidney damage. People with Wilson's Disease should consult their personal doctor as exposures to high levels of copper can cause complications of the disease."

Anyone in need of more information or with concerns or questions are urged to contact Barbara Fisher at 775-3652 or Lt Col David Nelson at 777-4551.