When Water Meets Lead: The Worst Case Scenario

When Water Meets Lead: The Worst Case Scenario

When Water Meets Lead: The Worst Case Scenario

Where there is water, there is life. On Earth, there is no truer statement, as every plant, animal, and human being is dependent on this resource. Imagine the chaos that could incur if water is taken away from us, like it has for certain residents of Flint, MI.

The recent exposure of the Flint water crisis has a lot of homeowners, parents in particular, questioning the quality of their own drinking water. As concerning as the topic is, it’s worth pointing out that the incident was a very unique and uncommon sequence of events. The best way to prove this is by breaking down exactly why contaminated water is dangerous and how drinking water is being regulated.

Of the major contaminants that could potentially find their way into your drinking water, lead is one that can’t be ignored. People ingest low levels of lead daily as this element is found in household products, gasoline, soils, pipes, and even the air itself. However, children’s lead exposure is more threatening since they are susceptible to the severe health effects it can cause. Frequent lead exposure can create intellectual disabilities, stunted growth, muscle weakness, and more.

The act that went into effect January 2014 to amend the Safe Water Drinking Act, Public Law 111-380, states that the weighted average for lead content of products that contact drinking water can be no greater than .25%. As a member of the water industry, A.Y. McDonald plays its part by providing products that comply with this specific regulation.

Another regulation that keeps lead out of your drinking water is the Lead and Copper Rule. Established in 1991, this rule requires that all public drinking water systems regularly test a sample of high-risk homes for lead at the tap. At a certain percentage level, individual water utilities are legally responsible for notifying the area of the heightened lead amount. In extreme cases, the water supplier must also take certain steps in order to control corrosion.

As Flint, MI residents wrap their minds around the thought of consuming contaminated water for up to a year and a half, the unique Flint water crisis is one that should be treated as a lesson. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was already researching a revised version of the Lead and Copper Rule to be published as soon as 2017. The potential additional requirements include increasing outreach to customers and a strategic plan for full lead line replacements that can hopefully eliminate a similar crisis in the future.

The many rules and regulations imposed on the water industry are in existence so that you can live without the worry of contaminated drinking water. While the Flint water crisis is very clear in everyone’s minds at the moment, water providing services have and always will focus on meeting and exceeding the laws set in place.

Whether it’s for bathing, drinking, cooking, or flushing the toilet, water is a staple to our everyday survival. While A.Y. McDonald is only one piece of the puzzle holding the water industry together, every other piece must realize their own importance in connecting water to people. We must all stick together and recognize that where there is water, there is life.