New law forces public water companies to alert customers of lead contamination within 24 hours
New law forces public water companies to alert customers of lead contamination within 24 hours.
Public water systems must notify their customers within 24 hours of detecting dangerous levels of lead under a new federal law.
Those states have passed their own laws requiring faster notifications.
Because water utilities are already required to notify customers for other contaminants, alerting them to high lead levels should already be in place for most utilities, Dan Hartnett, director of legislative affairs at the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, told Governing.
It can damage the brain, red blood cells and kidneys, and can cause lifelong developmental and behavioral problems.
Recently, several schools in Lancaster County found lead in water in drinking fountains or sinks.
Some were supplied by public water companies and some of the drinking water testing high for lead came from wells.
The changes in federal law will add lead to a list of contaminants that public water utilities are already required to notify their customers about if dangerous levels are detected.
Those contaminants include E. coli, waterborne diseases and high levels of nitrates.
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to clarify the timeline in the coming months.