UPDATE (7:31pm) – The city has issued a response to the Guardian’s article. It claims it did not violate EPA guidelines. “As late as 2008, the EPA continued to condone pre-stagnation flushing as part of lead testing protocols. In 2010, the city amended its testing instructions to avoid pre-stagnation flushing… Those 2010 instructions are fully compliant with the latest EPA guidance issued in 2016.”
The city also added that it has never been cited for a violation of the Lead and Copper Rule. Officials say they’ll issue a full report on the issue at City Council’s next meeting, June 6th.
According to the U.S. edition of The Guardian newspaper, Rockford is among 33 cities nationwide that violated EPA lead testing guidelines.
They claim Rockford is one of 21 cities where testers were instructed to ‘pre-flush’ water pipes before testing for lead content and one of 7 cities where testers removed aerators from spouts before running water, which can reduce lead content. Both are against Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
The Guardian launched the investigation following the toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan. It used thousands of documents detailing water testing practices over the past decade.
You can read the full report by clicking here.