Over 5,000 US Water Systems Have Broken Lead Rules
It was reported late last month that there are around 5,300 water systems in the United States which are in violation of lead regulations. Astoundingly, the number of people who live in those communities where this is happening totals 18 million Americans. Flint, Michigan isn’t the only town with contaminated water!
One of the worst parts about this is that the EPA (the agency in charge of handling these issues) is aware of the lead violations, yet they have done almost nothing to fix the situation. Some of the violations included failing to monitor lead levels, treat water to fix corrosion in water pipes, and report any of their testings to the public.
Despite there being more than 8,000 documented lead violations, there were only 908 cases where action was taken. What may be the worst thing of all is that utility companies are cheating the system and using flawed testing methods in order to avoid detecting high lead levels. One example of cheating the system occurred when water utilities would purposely test homes for lead that they knew were safe. They also asked residents to “pre-flush” their taps and take water samples slowly as that reduces the levels of lead. The EPA was aware of this behavior and did nothing to stop it.
In Philadelphia, yet another situation has arisen which is a perfect example of the EPA unwilling to act. The city has tested less than 40 homes out of an estimated 50,000 that have lead service lines. There could be many more communities throughout the United States with dangerous levels of lead than the ones we are aware of. Residents could be being exposed and nobody would have an idea.It is expected that more and more stories such as this will come out as the next year unfolds.
The local water utilities and EPA unwilling act has caused for an extremely dangerous situation that warrants close monitoring from the whole country.