Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lead Still In Nation's Capital Drinking Water

After high lead levels were reported in DC drinking water in 2004 the D.C. Water & Sewer Authority (WASA) launched a program to replace the lead lines that run from the street to 35,000 homes. According to published reports, $93 million has been spent but the situation has gotten worse in approximately 9,000 homes where the lines were partially replaced. The agency has also added orthophosphate to mitigate the lead leaching.

WASA replaced 14,600 lines from the street to houses. About 2,100 homeowners paid approximately $2,000 to replace lines their own lines. About 3,400 owners replaced lead pipes before WASA started its program. It appears that many homes still need their lines replaced. The EPA Office of Ground Water & Drinking Water (OGWDW) safety limit for drinking water is 15 parts per billion. Samples in the lines of almost 700 homes were 260 parts per billion. This is a very serious problem, particularly for anyone with toddlers in homes with elevated water lead levels. Everyone in the District should have their water tested and if high levels are found, they should replace the lines or find an alternative source of drinking water. (The Washington Post, 2/2/08)

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