AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (WRGB) – It’s a city in dire financial straights. But now there’s some hope.
A new state grant could help kick start replacement of lead pipes that lead to homes, including homes on a street CBS 6 has covered extensively.
Mayor Michael Villa provided CBS 6 a picture of a letter from the state Department of Health. It says the city of Amsterdam will be given just under $522,000 to replace lead service pipes that deliver water to homes.
While this money will be used throughout the city, the Mayor says Church Street will be included.
More than four years after a public health emergency was declared due to lead contamination of drinking water in Flint, MI, communities across the country continue to battle lead service lines (LSLs). In New York, a multimillion-dollar program may help put an end to that struggle.
“Eighteen communities around New York state are splitting $10 million in new state funding for the replacement of old drinking water lines that may contain lead,” according to a report from AP News. “The effort to replace lead pipes is part of a broad $2.5 billion program approved by lawmakers to improve drinking water systems around the state.”
There have been different approaches to combating the lead contamination problem in the U.S., including concerted treatment efforts at drinking water plants that add corrosion protection. But ultimately, the only way to truly solve the problem is to replace lead-leaching pipelines.
New York has already awarded $20 million for replacement costs as part of its larger $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act from 2017.
City of Hornell to receive $528,750
HORNELL — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that $10 million will be awarded to 18 municipalities statewide to continue the state’s initiative to replace residential drinking water lead service lines through the New York State Department of Health’s Lead Service Line Replacement Program.
Among them is the City of Hornell, which is receiving $528,750. Hornell and the City of Norwich were the award winners in the Southern Tier region.
“New York has invested unprecedented funding to protect drinking water quality including critical infrastructure projects that are underway across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “This next round of funding advances our commitment to helping municipalities upgrade outdated systems, helping improve health and keep our communities thriving.”
KINGSTON, N.Y. — The city's Office of Economic and Community Development will collect information from Kingston residents who believe they may have supply-side lead water pipes connected to their homes so those individuals can be placed on a waiting list for replacements.
Through an initial form, city staff will determine eligibility for replacement by making site visits to visually identify lead service pipes. Once the tie-in pipes have been determined to have lead, they will be placed on a waiting list for replacement. The form must be completed by 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16.
The city's drinking water does not contain lead, but the corrosion of lead pipes and lead solder in a home can cause lead to leach into drinking water. Based on historical documentation and service line installation dates, the city Water Department estimates 59 percent of existing Kingston water service lines may contain lead. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates 10 to 20 percent of the lead exposure in young children may come from drinking water.
The Daily News Online
PERRY — More than $550,000 in state funding will help the village replace lead water lines.
The lead components are mostly found in older water connections leading to residences, said Village Administrator Matt Jensen on Monday.
The $554,112 will help the village locate the components and replace them proactively.
“The program is set up to help us identify where the lead components might be and to make the necessary replacements as we identify areas,” Jensen said. “It’s not an issue we see with lead in our water as far as testing, but we do know we have some connections with lead in there.”
See the full article online.
Denver Water will propose the removal of lead service pipes from homes across the metro area — an action rarely seen in the United States and one that could cost roughly $500 million and take 15 years.
“Cost is not an issue. Public health is the issue,” Denver Water CEO Jim Lochhead said in an interview Monday morning.
The utility estimates that 50,000 to 90,000 homes still have lead pipes connecting their homes to water mains. The metal has been linked to developmental disabilities and other long-term health consequences, though Denver Water already has taken steps to minimize the risk.
“The water we’re delivering is safe. This is really a matter of the plumbing,” Lochhead said.
Lead from corroded pipes can enter the water as it goes into homes. Denver Water has for years adjusted the chemistry of its water to prevent lead from leaching from the residential pipes. In 2012, the utility’s ongoing testing detected lead in a few homes that exceeded federal limits.
Read the full article.
The Nation's Health
Wisconsin resident Tory Lowe got bad news following a medical exam of his 4-year-old son. Lowe’s family lives in a low-income neighborhood in North Milwaukee. Many homes have lead pipes that can contaminate drinking water.
As a precaution, the family drinks only bottled water and has a filter on the kitchen tap. But despite those steps, in 2017 doctors told Lowe that his son, Troy, had high levels of lead in his blood.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Lowe told The Nation’s Health. “We don’t have lead paint.”
It turned out that Troy had been drinking from the bathroom sink.
Though lead paint, dust and soil are the biggest risks for high blood lead levels in children, lead in water can have dangerous consequences as well. While the U.S. has some of the world’s safest public water supplies, in some cases, up to 20% of a person’s exposure to lead can come from tap water, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Any level of lead in blood is unsafe in children, but the health risk multiplies when levels surpass 5 micrograms per deciliter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Troy Lowe’s case, his measurement was 6 micrograms per deciliter.
An estimated 4 million U.S. households have children who are exposed to high levels of lead. Lead exposure can cause fatigue, joint ache, constipation and memory loss, and is particularly dangerous for infants and children. Developmental problems involving learning, behavior, speech and hearing can result. When blood lead levels reach 45 micrograms per deciliter, CDC recommends that medical treatment be considered.
See the full article on Daily Press
ESCANABA — In an effort to keep up with paving projects and comply with new rules handed down by the state, the Escanaba City Council Thursday approved entering into contracts for water line replacements and discussed how to address residents who had already replaced their own lines.
In four separate motions, the council approved entering into contracts for the replacement of water lines deemed contaminated under new rules from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), formerly the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Under the rules, any service line connected to a main using a lead gooseneck or that was once connected by a lead gooseneck is considered contaminated, regardless of the amount of measurable lead present in the property’s water.
EGLE is further requiring cities to begin replacing lead service lines at a rate of 5 percent per year starting in 2021 and leaves the city responsible for all work and costs associated with line replacements up to the property’s water meter, which is typically located inside a basement.
See the full article on CBS Local
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The city is beating this year’s goals for removing lead and improving water quality.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) says since mid-March, it has already replaced over 700 public service lines that contain lead — setting the agency on track to replace over 3,700 more by June 2020.
Read the full opinion article on North Jersey.com
The crisis in Flint, Mich., made clear the health impacts of lead in drinking water, especially for infants, young children, and fetuses. Now water tests have found lead contamination in homes and schools across New Jersey. While the 1991 federal Lead and Copper Rule, which relies primarily on adjusting water chemistry to minimize the leaching of lead from old pipes into water, works most – but not all – of the time, it has failed to eliminate the biggest underlying source of lead in water: lead service lines.
These pipes, made of lead, deliver water to residences and smaller commercial buildings from the main under the street and serve as “lead straws.” There are an estimated 350,000 lead service lines in New Jersey, and until they are replaced, the problem of lead in water will not be resolved.
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