Michigan, After the Flint Water Disaster, Is Adopting the Toughest Lead Rule in the Nation

In response to the Flint public water supply lead crisis that started in 2014 as a result ancient infrastructure and incredibly poor management, the state of Michigan is adopting a new lead standard for public water that is more stringent than the nation’s 15 ppb allowable.  In addition, it mandates a long-term project to replace the state’s ancient lead water piping system.

Under new standards set by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the maximum level of allowable lead in drinking water will drop to 12 parts per billion in 2025. The federal level as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 15 parts per billion.

All public water systems are required to replace the state’s 500,000 lead service lines at a rate averaging 5 percent per year beginning in 2021 over a 20-year period.

The new rules prohibit partial lead service line replacement due to the potential for elevated lead levels that could harm public health. Most public water systems are required to perform a full system inventory detailing all parts and materials used.

“The new Michigan Lead and Copper Rule is the most stringent in the world when applied to cities with lead pipe – yet it strikes a reasonable balance between cost and benefit,” Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards, a water engineer who first raised the issue of Flint’s lead contamination, said in an email to a Reuter’s researcher.

Source Credit: CompuServe News

Pure Water Gazette Fair Use Statement