Understanding the EPA's Get the Lead Out Initiative: A Guide for Homeowners

At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, we're committed to ensuring the safety and quality of your home's drinking water. A pressing concern that has been at the forefront of public health discussions is the presence of lead in plumbing systems. But why exactly are lead pipes a concern?

Let’s talk about the health risks of lead in drinking water and some things that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doing about it, including their Lead and Copper Rule and the more recent Get the Lead Out (GLO) Initiative.

The Health Risks of Lead in Drinking Water

You can’t see, smell, or taste lead in drinking water. But lead is a potent neurotoxin that poses significant health risks, particularly to children. Exposure to lead can result in irreversible and life-long health effects, including diminished IQ, focus, and academic achievement. For adults, lead exposure can lead to cardiovascular issues and decreased kidney function. It's crucial to understand that lead in drinking water can contribute substantially to overall lead exposure, especially for infants who consume formula or juices prepared with tap water.

READ MORE: Do You Have to Worry about Lead in Water Pipes?

How Does Lead Enter Drinking Water?

The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes (service lines), and brass or bronze faucets and fixtures. Lead can leach into drinking water when plumbing materials that contain lead, such as pipes, solder, and fixtures, corrode. Factors that can accelerate this process include high acidity or low mineral content in water. The EPA has set action levels for lead in drinking water and has issued the Lead and Copper Rule to help mitigate this issue.

The EPA's Lead and Copper Rule

The Lead and Copper Rule aims to protect public health by reducing lead and copper levels in drinking water. This regulation requires water systems to monitor drinking water and take corrective actions if more than 10 percent of tap water samples exceed the EPA's lead action level of 15 parts per billion.

The Get the Lead Out Initiative

Around 9.2 million lead service lines serve water to properties in communities across the U.S. While the Lead and Copper Rule has specific legal requirements for public water systems, the Get the Lead Out Initiative is a broader effort, encompassing funding, education, and collaboration to proactively reduce lead exposure.

The GLO Initiative is meant to accelerate the removal of lead pipes across the nation, particularly in underserved communities and in vulnerable populations such as children. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the initiative aims to ensure that every family has access to safe drinking water, free from the dangers of lead contamination.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Is Your Partner in Lead Mitigation

As part of our commitment to customer satisfaction and safety, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing offers comprehensive services to help you address lead concerns in your plumbing. Our licensed plumbers are equipped to inspect your home's plumbing system, identify lead-containing components, and provide solutions to ensure your water is safe. Contact us online or call us at 1-877-BEN-1776.