Thursday, August 24, 2017

Environmental Defense Fund Recognizes Communities Replacing Lead Service Lines

Fourteen U.S. communities were recognized by the Environmental Defense Fund
for taking steps to remove lead service lines. Lead service lines can leak
lead and contaminate drinking water.

Last week, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) published a webpage recognizing communities across the U.S. that are reducing lead in drinking water by replacing lead pipes in their water systems.

The webpage recognizes 14 communities in seven states that have pledged to remove all lead service lines. Over time, old lead service lines can leak lead into drinking water. Lead exposure has been linked to behavioral and cognitive impairments as well as blood and bone illnesses. Because lead exposure is accumulative, the greatest health risk is posed to growing children as their development can be impaired by lead exposure.

Lead service lines became a topic of national concern when it was revealed as the source of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan; insufficient water treatment and deteriorating lead service lines contaminated the community's drinking water. To date, many households still have uncertain access to clean drinking water.

"Everyone can agree that lead in drinking water is harmful to our kids. Lead service lines are likely the greatest source of that lead. But lead water pipes still serve millions of American homes," Tom Neltner, EDF Health's Chemicals Policy Director, said in a recent press release.

The recognized communities have all made progress in at least one of EDF's criteria: Avoiding partial LSL replacement in favor of total replacement; providing economical and equitable replacement options for homeowners; developing a robust, public inventor; and providing guidance to assist property owners. One community, Quincy, MA, seeks to provide pipe replacements at no cost homeowners.

"Replacing lead service lines requires a broad societal commitment and a spirit of collaboration among utilities, property owners, public officials, philanthropists and many other partners. Communities that develop a vision for the ultimate removal of lead service lines are taking an important step in protecting households from lead in drinking water," David LaFrance, CEO of the American Water Works Association, said in a recent press release.

The 14 communities noted by the EDF for their public commitment to replacing all lead service lines in their area include:
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI
  • Eau Claire, WI

In addition, EDF noted an additional 19 communities who have taken steps toward removing lead service lines in their jurisdiction but have not yet set a goal.

To see all of the communities that have pledged to remove lead service lines, visit EDF's webpage. To learn more about lead and get involved in this industry, visit Zack Academy's lead homepage.

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