- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 6, 2016

LAKE WYLIE, S.C. (AP) - Residents of two York County neighborhoods are concerned after testing found the amount of lead in their drinking water exceeded federal standards.

More than 100 people from the River Hills neighborhood in Lake Wylie attended a public meeting on Tuesday but local media outlets report they didn’t get all their questions answered.

While state and local officials spoke in general about lead monitoring and local water sources, there was no representative at the meeting from Carolina Water Service which directly supplies water to almost 9,000 Lake Wylie residents.

Tests earlier this year determined the amount of lead in water provided to about 3,500 customers in the River Hills subdivision and to the Foxwood subdivision in nearby Fort Mill exceeded federal standards. The results triggered more frequent testing of water lines in those areas.

The later tests showed lead levels had dropped and Carolina Water Service said at the time that the elevated levels were due to errors because some homeowners did not flush their taps before collecting samples.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control is conducting studies to determine why lead levels may were elevated.

David Baize, acting chief of DHEC’s water bureau, said tests in several communities in upstate South Carolina have shown elevated lead levels in recent years, But he said those readings have not correlated with an increase in lead levels found in patients’ blood.

Those attending the Tuesday meeting heard about the contract between the county and Carolina Water Service to operate the area’s water system.

That contract expires at the end of the year and county officials are exploring whether the county should provide the water itself. That could cost the taxpayers around $20 million.

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