Tag Archives: tap water

Impact of partial lead service line replacement

Doré E, Deshommes E, Laroche L, Nour S, Prévost M. Lead and copper release from full and partially replaced harvested lead service lines: Impact of stagnation time prior to sampling and water quality. Water Research 2018 Dec 3;150:380-391. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.11.076.

Partial lead service line replacement (PLSLR) results in the addition of a new galvanic connection and can increase lead concentrations at the tap. Focus has been given to minimizing lead release after PLSLR, but little information is available on the impact of lead remedial actions on copper concentrations, especially before passivation occurs. The impact of water quality (decreased chloride-to-sulfate mass ratio from 0.9 to 0.3; addition of orthoP; pH increase to 8.3) on lead and copper concentrations was investigated after stagnation (30 min-336 h) in a pipe rig comparing full lead service line (LSL), and two configurations of partial LSLs (Cu-Pb and Pb-Cu). Results show different trends for lead and copper: maximum lead concentrations were reached in 16 h while copper concentrations continued to increase over 336 h. Lead release rates were also the highest in the first 16 h of stagnation and were strongly impacted by water quality and the configuration of PLSLR (Cu-Pb vs Pb-Cu). Increasing the sampling flow rate from 5 to 15 LPM drastically increased the particulate lead release (78-fold) in Pb-Cu configurations; this effect was however not observed in 100% Pb or Cu-Pb configurations. High velocity flushing prior to 16 h stagnation decreased total Pb release by a factor of 12-fold for Cu-Pb, 1.6-fold for Pb-Cu and 2.0-fold for 100% Pb. Results support the definition of sampling protocols targeted for the detection of lead and copper sources and the proscription of flushing prior to sampling.

USGS study confirms the good-quality of US tap waters

Bradley PM, et al. Reconnaissance of Mixed Organic and Inorganic Chemicals in Private and Public Supply Tapwaters at Selected Residential and Workplace Sites in the United States. Environmental science & technology. 2018 Nov 21. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b04622

Safe drinking water at the point-of-use (tapwater, TW) is a United States public health priority. Multiple lines of evidence were used to evaluate potential human health concerns of 482 organics and 19 inorganics in TW from 13 (7 public supply, 6 private well self-supply) home and 12 (public supply) workplace locations in 11 states. Only uranium (61.9 μg L-1, private well) exceeded a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation maximum contaminant level (MCL: 30 μg L-1). Lead was detected in 23 samples (MCL goal: zero). Seventy-five organics were detected at least once, with median detections of 5 and 17 compounds in self-supply and public supply samples, respectively (corresponding maxima: 12 and 29). Disinfection byproducts predominated in public supply samples, comprising 21% of all detected and 6 of the 10 most frequently detected. Chemicals designed to be bioactive (26 pesticides, 10 pharmaceuticals) comprised 48% of detected organics. Site-specific cumulative exposure-activity ratios (∑EAR) were calculated for the 36 detected organics with ToxCast data. Because these detections are fractional indicators of a largely uncharacterized contaminant space, ∑EAR in excess of 0.001 and 0.01 in 74 and 26% of public supply samples, respectively, provide an argument for prioritized assessment of cumulative effects to vulnerable populations from trace-level TW exposures.