Water Forum

How a Paradigm Change Could Resolve the Lead and Copper Drinking Water Crisis

By Robert J. Ferguson

COPPER CORROSION DRINKING WATER EPA ENVIRONMENT LEACHING LEAD REGULATIONS

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Abstract

A paradigm shift is needed to resolve the lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) potable water hazardous metal crisis in the United States. This commentary proposes a shift towards an industrial water treatment evaluation approach rather than a governmental compliance-centered evaluation. Industry represents technology, economics, results, and safety driven in its approach to tackling water challenges. Government represents laws, regulation, and compliance-driven approaches, and rarely shall the twain meet.

It should be noted that this problem not only affects drinking water, but touches industries that use municipal drinking supplies in their applications—particularly those whose products are used by humans, of which the food and beverage, and life sciences would be two examples.

Two situations contrast the approaches: water changes in Flint, MI, and Savannah, GA:

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