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EPA trying to reduce lead in America's water, working with Nevada agencies

Posted at 7:32 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 22:33:28-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking aim at the amount of lead in our water.

The agency rolled out new monitoring regulations on Thursday meant to help improve the response time to a situation.

One big change, local utilities will need to test places likes daycares and schools for lead in water.

"I am very pleased to report that out of 673 sampling locations in elementary schools so far, only nine faucets and fixtures in the state have exceeded the project action level," says Jennifer Carr, Deputy Administrator for Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

"All nine were sink faucets and not a single drinking water fountain."

The proposal focuses on six key areas. Under the proposal, a community water system would be required to take new actions, including, but not limited to:

  1. Identifying the most impacted areas by requiring water systems to prepare and update a publicly-available inventory of lead service lines and requiring water systems to "find-and-fix" sources of lead when a sample in a home exceeds 15 parts per billion (ppb).
  2. Strengthening drinking water treatment by requiring corrosion control treatment based on tap sampling results and establishing a new trigger level of 10 ppb.
  3. Replacing lead service lines by requiring water systems to replace the water system-owned portion of an LSL when a customer chooses to replace their portion of the line. Additionally, depending on their level above the trigger level, systems would be required take LSL replacement actions, as described below.
  4. Increasing drinking water sampling reliability by requiring water systems to follow new, improved sampling procedures and adjust sampling sites to better target locations with higher lead levels.
  5. Improving risk communication to customers by requiring water systems to notify customers within 24 hours if a sample collected in their home is above 15 ppb. Water systems will also be required to conduct regular outreach to the homeowners with LSLs.
  6. Better protecting children in schools and child care facilities by requiring water systems to take drinking water samples from the schools and child care facilities served by the system.

Critics say the proposal doesn't go far enough. They want the EPA to address lead service lines across the United States.