AWWA: Lead Rule Revisions Underscore Importance of Customer Communications
EPA's revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule underscore the
importance of effective public communications in the water community's
ongoing efforts to limit exposure to lead in drinking water, stated
Jack W. Hoffbuhr, American Water Works Association's executive director.
On Oct. 10, EPA published in the Federal Register a final
rule containing changes to the national primary drinking water
regulations for lead and copper. According to Hoffbuhr, EPA's action
will encourage more awareness of lead in drinking water in three ways.
"First, (the rule) ensures utilities discuss lead in drinking water
in annual consumer confidence reports," Hoffbuhr stated. "This assures
a greater understanding of the issue among consumers, even in
communities where there has been no exceedance of the lead action
Second, the revised rule requires that people served by taps used in
routine sampling receive information on the results of those tests, he
stated, noting that the clarification already is regular practice at
Third, in cases where the lead action level is exceeded, the new
rule promotes improved coordination among utilities and health
departments in communicating with the public," Hoffbuhr said.
"While lead is rarely present in water leaving treatment plants or
traveling through distribution systems, it can leach into drinking
water from lead plumbing, solders and fixtures," he said. "That means
both the utility and the consumer have important roles to play in
assuring the water remains safe for drinking."
The Federal Register notice can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WATER/2007/October/Day-10/w19432.htm.