Lead: Taking it from the Tap

by Dan Morse, Assistant Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 2, Pg. 71-73

Document Type: Feature article


Medical evidence is lowering the definition of a safe concentration of lead. In turn, there has been an effort to reduce lead in drinking water. Solutions are complicated, as many lead sources (lead solder, lead pipes, brass faucets) are in private homes. More lead is leached from these sources if the water is corrosive. EPA is expected to release new lead regulations in spring, 1988, dictating corrosivity control for public utilities. A national ban on leaded pipes and solder is being imposed on a state by state basis. The City of Portland banned leaded solder and pipes in 1985. Portland believes those sources are more important than corrosivity control. Portland urges its residents to flush their faucets in early morning—after water has been sitting all night. EPA feels that they can control lead via corrosivity control. A specific and dangerous lead problem is public water fountains.

Subject Headings: Corrosion | Lead (chemical) | Pipes | Environmental Protection Agency | Terminology and definition | Safety | Drinking water | Leaching

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