Researchers find aluminum in water could affect lead’s solubility — in certain cases
It is not uncommon to find aluminum in municipal water systems. It’s part of a treatment chemical used in some water treatment processes. Recently, however, it has been discovered in lead scale, deposits that form on lead water pipes.
The aluminum presence in pipes is both unsurprising and, in the quantities researchers saw in water pipes, not a health concern, according to Daniel Giammar, the Walter E. Browne Professor of Environmental Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. But no one had looked at how it might affect the larger municipal system.
In particular, Giammar wanted to find out, "What is that aluminum doing to the behavior of the lead in the scale?" As long as the lead is bound to the scale, it doesn’t enter the water system.
Giammar and a team ran several experiments and found that, in a lab setting, aluminum does have a small but important effect on lead’s solubility […]