CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Clarksburg Water Board has begun adding a chemical to its water supply to combat lead intrusion from old pipes, but don’t worry, it’s completely safe.

On Tuesday, the water board began adding phosphoric acid to the water using two 5000-gallon tanks that were added to its treatment plant on Chestnut Street. The phosphoric acid in the water is meant to coat the inside of the pipes and prevent old water lines from polluting the water with lead.

According to the CWB, it hired an engineering firm to do an extensive study to prove that the added mineral will help prevent lead intrusion. The chemical is a completely food-safe ingredient that is used in soda and juices.

“Basically, it just puts a coating inside the line,” said Chef Operator and Plant Superintendant Bob Davis. “Anytime you lose the scaling off the inside of a lead service line then it’s exposed to the water and when that water sets for a period of time, say more than six hours, then that’s when you get that leeching of the lead back into the water. So what this does is we continue to feed it, continues to put a protective barrier on it. So you have a barrier between the lead and the water and that will keep it from leeching back in.”

The Clarksburg Water Board has been addressing lead pipes in the area since the summer of 2021. You can read the full press releases from the Clarksburg Water Board below.