U.S. Senate acts to provide critical funding for cities with water infrastructure concerns related to lead service lines
New York — The Copper Development Association (CDA) supports the Senate’s bi-partisan vote in favor of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization—a much needed piece of legislation that includes provisions to begin addressing failing water infrastructure needs throughout the U.S., including lead service line replacement programs and other methods of lead reduction in community water systems. The bill also provides direct emergency relief to cities such as Flint, Michigan, which was thrust onto a national stage because of a drinking water contamination issue.
Service line replacements can be a huge undertaking for communities since it is recommended that they be replaced in their entirety. Creating a ‘hybrid’ system by only replacing a portion of the service line, or by replacing sections with alternate materials can increase the amount of lead released into the water supply.
“The most effective strategy to prevent future water crises is to replace the lead service lines currently in use with copper systems,” said Andrew G. Kireta, Jr., Vice President of CDA. “While other plumbing materials provide a money saving appeal, they have the potential to leach contaminants that do not offer any health benefits.”
A study produced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has shown that other approved materials for water service lines can allow hazardous chemicals to leach into the water system, causing problems from taste and odor to other potential health problems.
Copper on the other hand, has been used for thousands of years to deliver safe drinking water because of its corrosion resistance, join-ability and dependability. No other material has the long-term, proven experience of reliable, leak-free installation in the widest variety of systems and settings, protects the water system from outside contamination in the underground environment and does so with proven life-cycle value.
“At a time where much of the nation’s drinking water infrastructure needs to be replaced, the Copper Development Association is dedicated to standing alongside municipalities looking to replace their piping systems,” said Thomas Passek, President of CDA. “The decisions made by city officials, homeowners and business owners will have consequences long into the future.”