EPA Produces New Consumer Tool Identifying POU Filters Certified to Reduce Lead

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water Program held a webinar on “Lead Management in Homes and Buildings” on March 26, focusing on lead in drinking water.

Several key points were presented regarding homes with lead service lines or indoor lead plumbing:

  • More frequent use of water throughout the day contributes to less time for dissolved lead to build up in water of plumbing supply lines.
  • The EPA has a new “Consumer Tool for Identifying Point of Use Drinking Water Filters Certified to Reduce Lead.” The document explains:
    • What is a Point of Use (POU) filter?
    • How to check whether a filter has been certified to reduce lead
    • What to look for in packaging on certification and claims of reduction
    • How to find information on the performance of the POU device.

Administrator Wheeler announced on March 29 that the EPA intends to release a revised lead and cooper rule this summer. However, the regulations have been under revision for several years, and the EPA has a history of missing its self-imposed deadlines, while it works to finalize the revisions.

According to the EPA, it estimates the cost to replace public water supply pipes could be between $4700 to $12,300 per pipe and estimates between 6 million to 10 million lead pipes still in use across the country. Most utilities are owned by municipalities, and the EPA is concerned with the burden the rule rewrite could place on them.