Lewiston may have a reputation for being called "The Dirty Lew," but Maine's second-largest city wants you to know that their water is most definitely not dirty.

Two weeks ago, five schools in Lewiston showed high levels of lead in routine testing according to WMTW. Those schools were Montello Elementary, Farwell Elementary, McMahon Elementary, Longley School and the Lewiston Regional Technical Center.

Understandably, some Lewiston residents became concerned that if the school's water contained high amounts of lead that the water in their homes might as well. Luckily, that's not the case.

According to a Facebook post by the City of Lewiston, the lead found in the water at the five Lewiston schools was due to internal plumbing and faucets and is not part of the Lewiston water supply. Lake Auburn is the water source for the Lewiston-Auburn area and has been since 1887. The quality of Lake Auburn water is exceptional. So much so that it is one of only eleven water sources in Maine that is not required to be filtered before it reaches homes.

The real concern with lead in drinking water is the plumbing within the buildings, and that is being dealt with the school department.

However, the City of Lewiston does recommend those that have homes older pipes to take some steps to minimize exposure to lead that could be caused by those older pipes:

1. Only use cold water to cook or prepare drinks (hot or cold) for consumption. Fill your pot with cold water and then heat it up on the stove or other means for hot beverages and cooking food.
2. Hot water from the faucet should only be used for cleaning or bathing not for cooking or consuming, as hot water can leach metals from pipes and hot water heaters/tanks.
3. Let your cold water run for several minutes until you feel a temperature change (water gets colder) to flush the warm water out of pipes that may have been sitting in the pipes overnight.
4. When renovating, repairing, or fixing water pipes or water faucets in your home – be sure lead-free solder is used, and replacement fixtures are lead-free certified and not salvaged or uncertified.

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