Water Quality InformationWritten By Actual Experts

RSS

Bill‌ ‌to‌ ‌Reduce‌ ‌Lead‌ ‌in‌ ‌Drinking‌ ‌Water‌ ‌in‌ New York ‌Schools‌ ‌

Christina Liu @ Monday, June 14, 2021 at 9:16 am -0400

‌Christina Liu | Hydroviv Science Team

The New York State Legislature recently passed a bill to help make drinking water in schools safer. National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reported that this bill lowers the Action Level of lead detected at school drinking water taps from the current EPA Action Level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) down to 5 ppb, which is the bottled water lead concentration limit set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The EPA, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. However, the 5 ppb Action Level is much closer to the recommended lead level recommended by the AAP of 1 ppb, so it is a major step forward in helping New York school children access safer drinking water in schools.  


What You Need To Know About the Latest Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule

Analies Dyjak @ Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:48 am -0500

Analies Dyjak, M.A. | Head of Policy and Perspectives

The Environmental Protection Agency has recently made revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule, which regulates the amount of lead allowed in municipal tap water. The Lead and Copper Rule has not been significantly updated since it was created in 1991 - meaning that the same regulatory standards have been in place for almost 3 decades. EPA’s recent update did not fundamentally change this outdated law, and the agency still has a long way to go in reducing lead contamination in the nations drinking water. 

Lead Pipes Are Still Problematic in 2021

There are an estimated 6.3 to 9.3 million homes in the United States that still have a Lead Service Line (LSL). Most of these homes were built before 1986, when the use of lead was banned in pipes, solder and plumbing. Flint, Michigan dominated headlines in 2015 when 99,000 people were exposed to unsafe levels of lead, including thousands of children. Flint was not and is not the only city with unsafe lead levels. There are still dozens of large cities that have lead levels above what health officials claim to be safe, including: Chicago, Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles

No Safe Level Of Lead For Children 

The current federal Action Level for lead in drinking water is 15 parts per billion. Lead is unique from other drinking water contaminants because it follows the 90th Percentile Rule, which has been criticized by various reputable environmental non-profits. The Centers for Disease Control has acknowledged that 15 parts per billion is not a health standard, but rather a feasible level of enforcement - meaning anything less than 15 parts per billion is too stringent for municipal compliance. The problem is that there is no safe level of lead for children. Any level of exposure has the potential to cause irreversible developmental damages, including; lowered IQ’s, behavioral difficulties, and other learning problems. EPA has even acknowledged that children should not be exposed to any level of lead. 

Latest Revisions To The Rule:

EPA made a handful of small modifications to the original 1991 Lead and Copper Rule. One of the major updates to the rule is increasing EPA’s “inventory” of Lead Service Lines throughout the country. Once LSL’s and pipes have been identified, EPA will require communities to “find and fix'' homes that exceed 15 parts per billion. The system must provide documentation to the state if they’re unable to fix or mitigate the lead levels. Under the rule revisions, systems serving greater than 50,000 people will be required to make the LSL inventory available online. Also, municipal systems will be required to provide annual notices to homeowners with LSL’s. Replacing LSL’s are particularly tricky to manage because they’re co-owned by the city and homeowner. Some cities have programs to coordinate replacing the public and private side of the line at the same time.  

EPA’s New “Trigger Level” For Lead

Part of EPA’s revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule include a new “trigger level.” According to the regulatory revisions, systems that have a 90th percentile higher than 10 parts per billion will be required to work with their state to determine annual lead line replacement goals. This “trigger level” is not a new Action Level, and does not initiate a violation if a water system has higher than 10 ppb lead. EPA also pointed out in the proposed regulation that the trigger level is also not a health standard. As previously stated, any concentration of lead can be harmful to children. 

Will The New Updates Better Protect Public Health?

In the short term, no. There is no real "quick fix" for lead contamination. Replacing lead pipes and Lead Services Lines takes time, and can actually cause an increase in lead levels during and after construction. While these changes are better than nothing, the recent revisions are not a significant overhaul of an extremely flawed regulation. The inventory however, has the potential to make people aware of LSL's in their homes. 

Other Articles We Think You Might Enjoy:
How To Tell If Your Home Has Lead Plumbing
What Are 'Forever Chemicals' or PFAS?
Everything You Need To Know About TDS/ppm Meters

Problems We Found In San José , California Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak @ Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 3:44 pm -0400
Water for the San José region comes from both surface and groundwater. Hydroviv's science team has aggregated water quality test data from San José Water and the City of San José, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Environmental Working Group, and the US Geological Survey. The custom water filters that we build for our customers in the San José area are optimized with this research in mind.

How Does Lead Enter Drinking Water?

Analies Dyjak @ Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 8:26 pm -0400
With the spotlight on the ongoing lead crisis underway in Flint, Hydroviv has been getting a lot of questions about lead in drinking water. In various discussions, it has become clear that most people don't understand how lead enters drinking water, and how it's regulated at the federal level. Most people are surprised by the number of samples collected, and that most cities don't collect samples every year. The goal of this article is to explain the rule that regulates municipal water providers, and to help our readers understand what causes lead contamination in drinking water.