Editorial: A step toward cleaner water

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About 20% of the connections countywide were copper without lead solder.

City officials we have spoken with say they are not aware of problems with lead in our drinking water. But given the figures reported to the state, there is much we don’t know about the lines that are taking drinking water into our homes.

That is troubling, and to the extent this legislation sheds light on this issue, it is a good thing.

What we do know is that lead in any amount is dangerous. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, "Because no safe blood level has been identified for young children, all sources of lead exposure for children should be controlled or eliminated. EPA has set the maximum contaminant level goal for lead in drinking water at zero because lead can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels."

Sen. Melinda Bush, the Grayslake Democrat who sponsored the bill, estimated replacement of lead lines in Illinois will cost $5 billion, according to Capitol News Illinois.

The new legislation allows for cities to apply for extensions. There also is a grant program to help minimize the cost.

We find it hard to believe this won’t come at a significant cost, depending on just how many lead lines are in our community. Even finding the answer to that question will be labor intensive, according to city officials that we’ve talked to.

via Dispatch Argus

June 14, 2021 at 04:53PM

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