Lead and Drinking Water

Lead, unlike many other drinking water contaminants, is usually not present in the drinking water source, but rather results from the distribution system or on site plumbing itself.

Lead and Drinking Water

Lead is a highly poisonous metal and can affect almost every organ in the body and the nervous system. It is a naturally occurring element found, due to human activity, in all parts of our environment.

EPA's Proposed Revisions to the Safe Drinking Water Act's Lead and Copper Rule

It’s disappointing that EPA chose not to require full replacement of lead service lines — the largest source of lead in drinking water — and stopped short of other measures to reduce exposure.

EPA office building

Clean Water Action: EPA's proposal is missing the best way to get the lead out

“EPA’s proposal lacks the most proactive step we can take to reduce lead at the tap - a timeline and a requirement for full lead service line replacement,”  said Lynn Thorp, Clean Water Action National Campaigns Director. “There is a clear public health case and national momentum to get the lead out through a holistic and thorough plan to replace service lines.”

 

Corroded pipe with lead service fittings. Credit: Mike Thomas / Creative Commons

EPA Can Do More to Protect Our Communities from Lead

EPA chose not to require full replacement of lead service lines — the largest source of lead in drinking water — and stopped short of other measures to reduce exposure.

From We All Live Downstream

Child's picture of an unhappy person with lead in their drinking water, and a happy person with clean water. Collected at the door by canvasser Kate Brinemann.
January 24, 2020

Hi al! My name is Veronica Weyhrauch and I’m a Field Manager with our Maryland office. Every day the entire field canvass team, including myself, head out to knock on doors and convince people to get involved.

Three glasses of water on a table. Photo credit:  bunyarit / Shutterstock
January 22, 2020

Under current regulations, if water systems exceed the Action Level for lead, they must take a number of actions including commencing lead service line replacement at a rate of 7% annually.  EPA’s proposed LCR revisions reduce this rate to 3% while closing some loopholes and proposing other requirements that will support more efficient and effective replacement programs. While closing loopholes and putting in place other requirements to make replacement activities more effective are positive steps, EPA is  justified in lowering the required rate of replacement. When systems exceed the lead Action Level, 7% is a realistic yet ambitious rate of replacement.

Lead Service Line
January 14, 2020

The purpose of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) is to reduce lead and copper at the tap. EPA’s proposed revisions to the LCR make significant changes to the aspects related to lead. EPA is accepting comments on the proposal until February 13, 2020. This is the second in a series of blog posts on specific aspects of EPA’s proposal. Read Part 1 here.