Why is corrosion control so important in our water systems?
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) has been around in various iterations since 1991; however, it is currently going through more substantive changes due to a compelling need to clarify its implementation requirements. The Flint, Michigan Crisis is the unfortunate impetus needed for this necessary overhaul.
The water crisis in Flint was caused by improperly-treated water from the Flint River. Lead leached from aging water pipes into the drinking water, exposing residents to unsafe levels. Lead is a neurotoxin related to a whole host of health problems, and children are most profoundly affected. Childhood lead exposure has been connected to low IQ, hyperactivity, aggression, and an increased risk of neurological disorders in adulthood. A successful treatment system has since been implemented.
As a water/wastewater engineer, I am fortunate enough to play a role in reducing high lead and copper levels in our drinking water systems when they are found to be above EPA’s established action levels. Mitigation includes designing corrosion control systems using addition of a phosphate or silicate-based corrosion inhibitor, though a variety of technical solutions also include alkalinity and pH adjustment. These solutions change the water chemistry so the amount of metal leaching into the water is reduced. Continued monitoring of the drinking water distribution system is critical for long term operations.
I plan on staying informed on updates to the LCR, and I am sure I will continue to blog about this important topic. It is vital those of us in the water/wastewater industry stay informed so that we can affect positive change in the lives of those we serve.
Filter by Expertise
Megan’s got it right, she’s starting early
February 13, 2019
about 15 hours ago
Climate change is producing increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. This growing uncertainty necessitates alte… https://t.co/pQPh5X8f1t
03:01 PM Mar 7th
Sometimes, the obvious solution is not right for a project. Ultimately, thinking outside the box and trying an atyp… https://t.co/x20yPLSCEr