The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered communities across Idaho to warn water users about the hazards related to lead in drinking water.

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1986, the EPA requires notice from community water systems in the form of mailing or advertisements by June 19, regardless of whether any lead exists in the water lines.That includes community water systems that serve 25 or more people at 10 or more locations for more than two months a year. Also affected are non-community systems such as day-care centers or businesses with their own water sources that serve the same amount of people for at least six months a year.

EPA has found excessive levels of lead can damage the central nervous system, heart or kidneys. Infants, young children and pregnant women are especially vunerable.

Homes built before 1940 often have lead pipes.