Lead in Water in GR?
In September 2011, a Scientific Advisory Board convened by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reviewed the evidence to determine if there would be any health benefits to the residents when a municipality replaces old, leaded water service lines to individual homes. What they discovered was counterintuitive. In brief, when only part of a lead service line is replaced, the evidence more often than not suggests that there may be a short term increase in the amount of lead in drinking water.
What does this mean for Grand Rapids?
These findings are concerning in cities like Grand Rapids where old, leaded water service lines are being replaced as roads are torn up for sewer work. It makes sense that cities like Grand Rapids would want to replace this 100-year old infrastructure while the roads are being rebuilt. And it also makes sense that advantage is taken of any opportunity to remove leaded components.
What doesn’t make sense, to most of us, is that the lead content in the water actually might increase instead of decrease by removing a portion of lead pipe. There are a number of possible reasons for this phenomenon. One is that when old pipes are disturbed, mineralized deposits on those pipes are also disturbed and released into the water. Another reason has to do with the physical property of water ionizing as it passes though copper pipes then shorter sections of leaded or galvanized pipes.For the rest of the story, click here to visit the Healthy Homes blog.
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