At least 2% of US public water systems are like Flint’s – Americans just don’t hear about them

More than five years after Flint’s water crisis first hit the news, the city has successfully lowered the lead levels in its water.

The most recently available testing , from the second half of 2018, puts the lead in Flint’s water at 4 parts per billion. That’s well below the level, 15 ppb, that the federal government currently regards as dangerous for public health.

No amount of lead in water is safe, but the lower level in Flint represents a substantial improvement over the 27 ppb reported by the Virgina Tech Water Study at the peak of the crisis in April 2015.

However, even Flint’s highest levels were not atypical for water systems that have problems. Most reports of elevated lead levels cluster in the range between 15 and 20 ppb.

Where lead problems occur

The federal Lead and Copper Rule requires public water utilities to sample home tap water yearly in neighborhoods most likely to face contamination.

If more than 10% of samples exceed 15 parts per billion of lead, the rule states that the water system must take steps to control pipe corrosion – the main source of lead in residential tap water – as well as […]

More about communities with lead contamination in public water supplies:

Data Shows San Diego Officials Misled the Public on Potential Source of Lead in Water

Kids Risk Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water in Schools

DC drinking water needs more monitoring for lead, audit finds

Lead-Tainted Water In Schools: Connecticut Gets Failing Grade

Michigan’s Lead in Drinking Water Protections Under Attack

New Mexico: New administration opens up on lead data

Toxic legacy: Wash U researchers look for ways to keep lead out of drinking water

Duke Study: Rivers Contaminated With Radium and Lead From Thousands of Fracking Wastewater Spills

In Echo of Flint, Lead Water Crisis Now Hits Newark, New Jersey

What new EPA lead regulations mean for local drinking water protection

New York governor signs law mandating lead testing in schools

Hillsborough School District found lead in its water, didn’t tell parents for a year.

Brain-damaging lead in tap water, hundreds of homes across Chicago

What Nashville’s Metro Schools Isn’t Telling You About Lead In Water

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Requiring California Water Districts to Test School Water for Lead

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At least 2% of US public water systems are like Flint’s – Americans just don’t hear about them
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At least 2% of US public water systems are like Flint’s – Americans just don’t hear about them
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Even Flint's highest lead levels were not atypical for water systems that have problems. Most reports of elevated levels cluster in the range between 15 and 20 ppb.
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The Conversation
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