Challenges in addressing variability of lead in domestic plumbing

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Current data indicates that lead exposure is of concern even at low concentrations. Corrosion is an important problem in drinking water because it can affect public health due to leaching of lead or other metals into the drinking water. For this reason, a corrosion control program is an important measure to help mitigate exposure to lead in drinking water. The biggest challenge that remains in assessing corrosion control through monitoring programs is the variability of the concentrations of metals such as lead in drinking water, and the interpretation of the results when using different approaches for monitoring. This is due to the many factors that contribute to the leaching of metals from drinking water distribution system materials. Balancing the challenges of stagnation time, sample volume and sampling frequency to assess corrosion control with their practicality and the need to ensure optimal corrosion control treatment are important considerations for regulators and decision-makers to ensure that potential exposure to lead through drinking water is minimized.

Keywords: corrosion control, lead in drinking water, stagnation, water sampling

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