EPA Considers Improvements To Lead And Copper Rule

Nov 1, 2016


The inside of a lead pipe with a biofilm intact. Biofilms consist of organic and inorganic matter that act as a wall between the lead surface and the water. One of the EPA’s primary means of reducing lead exposure is corrosion control, which can help protect biofilm.
Credit Irina Zhorov / WESA

The EPA says requirements of the 25-year-old Lead and Copper Rule are in urgent need of an upgrade. 

There is no safe blood level of lead for children. While there have been major reductions in childhood lead exposure over the last few decades, the EPA says there is more to do.

The agency is considering the best way to update its Lead and Copper Rule, or LCR. The primary way that lead and copper enter drinking water is through leaching out of old lead and copper pipes. The EPA takes measures to prevent that, primarily, by requiring water treatment systems to control the corrosiveness of water. However, the rule is structured in a way that allows providers to determine how best to do that.


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