SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- The City of Saint Paul is stepping up efforts to educate residents about lead and other issues with their drinking water.
Saint Paul Regional Water Services will hold a meeting on the issue Wednesday. Water officials say the city does not have a problem with lead right now, but about a third of the city's water system goes to homes with lead pipes.
Officials say they planned Wednesday's meeting in response to increased interest in water safety in the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Twenty-eight thousand homes in Saint Paul have lead water pipes, according to Jim Bode, the production division manager for Saint Paul Regional Water Systems. Lead pipes can increase the levels of lead in drinking water, said Bode.
Lead is especially concerning because it can have a long-term effect on children--potentially leading to behavior and learning problems.
Wednesday's meeting is the second of two meetings aimed at educating the public about their water quality.
City officials say they want to make sure you know whether your pipes are made of lead, steps you can take to protect yourself from lead, and how to update your pipes if you'd like to.
But they also want people to know Saint Paul is following federal lead testing regulations.
"You have to be below 15 parts per billion of lead in 90 percent of those homes, and we are in compliance with that rule," said Bode. "So we don't have any kind of crisis. We don't have a problem with lead right now, but we're still looking for ways to lower that number."
To reduce lead in water, the city recommends flushing the water that's been sitting in the lead section of piping at your house by running cold water for three to five minutes. You can also use a water filter--just make sure it filters lead.
For lead safety tips and info on lead pipes in Saint Paul, click here.
City officials say the homes that still have lead pipes are those built before 1927, and they total about a third of the city's water system. Bode says those homes are mainly located in the inner parts of the city.
Wednesday's water quality meeting is at 7 p.m. at Dayton's Bluff Recreation Center in Saint Paul.