The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its Lead and Copper Rule Revisions White Paper in October in response to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, that increased awareness of the need to deal with lead in drinking water systems nationwide.
Customers with lead service lines, as in Flint, are at greater risk of exposure to lead in drinking water. Lead exposure is known to present serious health risks to children’s brain and nervous system. Drinking water can make up 20% or more of total lead exposure. The EPA plans revising the Lead and Copper Rule to further reduce lead and copper levels in drinking water, including:
- Evaluating improved optimal corrosion control treatment (CCT) options—re-optimizing CCT, requiring all systems use CCT, broaden system categories using CCT
- Incorporating a health-based benchmark to strengthen protection by peer review
- Considering the role of household point-of-use filters
- Strengthening sampling requirements—match sampling to system, mandatory school sampling, real-time monitoring
- Increasing transparency and information sharing—post all results, earlier posting, publicly identify systems
- Augmenting public education—targeted outreach, access to lead service lines inventory, notice of disruption to those lines
- Evaluating options for revised copper requirements—require CCT if aggressive corrosion.
The impact on NGWA: Customers changing water sources should have their water quality evaluated.
The white paper is available here.