Chicago residents want to get rid of lead pipes as fear of toxic water grows

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Chicago residents want to get rid of lead pipes as fear of toxic water grows

theguardian

According to licensed plumbers in Chicago, awareness of water contamination from the lead pipes is increasing. This is found more in families with children, as lead affects the health of a child much more than the adult. This awareness was brought to light after the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Sources of Lead in Tap water

 

EPA advised that Chicago residents should run their faucets for three minutes to clear lead in water. They are also asked to store their drinking and cooking water in the refrigerator.

Now, when this advice came along with the Flint disaster, people started demanding for testing of the water and asked to have the lead pipes changed.


Changing lead pipes

Although city officials claim the water of the city is treated by phosphate after it is taken from Lake Michigan, the city residents are not happy. However, to change the lead pipes in each household, the budget would be around $18,000. This explains the low number of changes, which is still limited to 10’s or 20’s. There is a cheaper method that costs about $10,000, but it is not risk-free.

lead pipes

The problem now arises for the underprivileged families who cannot afford this huge amount of money to change the lead pipes. They are asking for government assistance. Although such assistance is available in few other places, Chicago officials do not promise anything right away.

Some lead testing was conducted but mainly in the homes of employees of the municipality. The tests are not showing good results, as most places have lead levels higher than expected, as the Guardian revealed.


The elevated lead level may be a risk for the children too, as they are found to be prone to crime, as certain studies revealed. There were changes in certain areas, but instead of decreasing the lead level, it raised it further. In such a situation, the residents of Chicago have asked the government to take action.

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