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Saturday 2nd March 2013

Poison tank water warning – that’s no way to achieve lead-free drinking water

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 JENNIFER CRAWLEY | March 02, 2013 12.01am


Lead-Free Rainwater Photo Collage

PHOTO: Lead-Safety Message: To achieve lead-free rainwater for drinking, employ the right plumber to remove lead from the roof, and install a first flush diverter and lead-free potable-water-safe flashing, piping, tank, pump etc. Lead-Free Rainwater Photo Collage by Jongmin Choi. You can vote for this entry to win the People’s Choice Award in the Volcano Art Prize at

A PUBLIC health warning has been issued for a Tasmanian-made water tank after toxic lead levels were discovered in water.

Kingston Sheetmetal rainwater tanks have been leaking lead from the soldering between stainless-steel panels.

Tests in the past fortnight have revealed lead levels more than 1300 mcg above the safe drinking water level of 10 mcg per litre, prompting the Department of Health and Human Services to issue a public warning about the tanks.

A high amount of lead consumed quickly can lead to confusion and stomach pain and is especially dangerous to pregnant women, their unborn children and young children, said Public Health acting director Dr Mark Veitch.

Dr Veitch warned tank owners to stop drinking the water immediately.

"If you have been using a Kingston Sheetmetal stainless-steel rainwater tank for household drinking water you should stop immediately," he said.

"Parents should supervise their children to make sure they don't drink the water."

Kingston Sheetmetal has sold 120 tanks since March 2010. The tanks have no manufacturer's label and can only be identified by knowing where they were bought.

Dr Veitch recommended tank owners see a doctor to have tests for lead levels.

Workplace Standards Tasmania manager Roy Omerod said the tanks did not comply with Australian Plumbing Standards and the company was under investigation.

Owners should contact Analytical Services Tasmania in Hobart and Tasmanian Laboratory Services in Launceston to test the tank water. ###

Reprinted with kind permission of The Mercury, Hobart.

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