CLIFTON - The Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC) has announced that recent tests have found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in Paterson, Clifton, Passaic and Prospect Park.

“Lead results from lead sources in service lines and in the pipes and fixtures located in many homes, particularly in older construction,” PVWC Executive Director Joseph Bella said in a news release.

The utility says it is taking several steps to address the lead levels.

PVWC recommends that customers take these steps to reduce exposure to lead in water:

- Run your water to flush out lead. Run water 30 seconds – 2 minutes or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking, if it hasn’t been used for several hours. This flushes lead-containing water from the pipes.

- Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula.

- Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.

- Look for alternate drinking water resources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter.

- Test your water for lead. Call PVWC at 973-340-4300 to find out how to get your water tested for lead.

- Get your child tested. Contact your local health department or health care provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about exposure.

- Identify if your plumbing fixtures contain lead.