AWWA: Lead rule changes underscore importance of communications

Oct. 11, 2007
USEPA's final revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) were published in the Federal Register today. AWWA Executive Director Jack W. Hoffbuhr issued the following statement on the changes: "EPA's revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule underscore the importance of effective public communications in the water community's ongoing efforts to limit exposure to lead in drinking water. The revised Lead and Copper Rule will encourage more awareness of the issue in at least three important ways...

• Utilities, consumers have roles to play in protecting against lead in drinking water

Oct. 10, 2007 -- USEPA's final revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) were published in the Federal Register today. AWWA Executive Director Jack W. Hoffbuhr issued the following statement on the changes:

"EPA's revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule underscore the importance of effective public communications in the water community's ongoing efforts to limit exposure to lead in drinking water. The revised Lead and Copper Rule will encourage more awareness of the issue in at least three important ways.

"First, it ensures utilities discuss lead in drinking water in annual consumer confidence reports. This assures a greater understanding of the issue among consumers, even in communities where there has been no exceedance of the lead action level.

"Second, the revised rule requires that persons served by taps used in routine sampling receive information on the results of those tests. This clarification makes good sense and is already regular practice at most utilities.

"Third, in cases where the lead action level is exceeded, the new rule promotes improved coordination among utilities and health departments in communicating with the public. This requirement should result in greater awareness of the issue and may pave the way for further collaboration among utilities and public health professionals.

"While lead is rarely present in water leaving treatment plants or traveling through distribution systems, it can leach into drinking water from lead plumbing, solders and fixtures. That means both the utility and the consumer have important roles to play in assuring the water remains safe for drinking."

AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond.

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