Water utilities should be prepared for potential media or customer inquiries following two different news articles about lead in drinking water that were published on Wednesday. A National Public Radio story discussed the difficulty water systems encounter in locating all the lead service lines in their service area. The story is focused on a situation in Trenton, Mo., but highlights broader challenges lead in drinking water pose to the entire water sector, including locating lead service lines, detecting lead in drinking water and explaining responsibilities related to service line removal on private property. A second article that appeared in The Guardian said, “some US cities are now essentially telling residents: pay up for the replacement or get more poison in your water.” This article focuses on a situation in Providence, R.I., and its surrounding neighborhoods, where removing lead service lines from the homes of customers who paid for their removal increased the amount of lead in the drinking water of other homes in the neighborhood. The article also mentions environmental justice issues where “Black and brown children are far more likely to have elevated levels of lead in their blood and to live in older homes with lead lines, yet it tends to be wealthier white residents who take advantage of local programs that offer property owners loans to replace lead pipes.” Members should be aware that at least one environmental advocacy group sought, and obtained, the information about service line material occurrence water systems provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the most recent Safe Drinking Water Act Needs Survey. The data, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, include the number of lead, galvanized pipes requiring replacement, unknown material service lines, as well as the number of lead connectors individual water systems provided to EPA. Data of this nature may be used in advocacy and media reports in the coming months as utilities prepare lead service line inventories as required under the December 2021 Revised Lead and Copper Rule. AWWA has resources available to help utilities communicate with the media about lead in drinking water and environmental justice/affordability: Risk Communications Trending in an Instant: A Risk Communication Guide for Water Utilities Lead Resources Lead Resource page , which includes a printable brochure on lead Lead whiteboard animation available on YouTube Lead Communications Toolkit DrinkTap’s Lead in Water page Affordability Resources Affordability Resource page A Water Utility Manager’s Guide to Community Stewardship Improving the Evaluation of Household-Level Affordability in SDWA Rulemaking New Approaches Thinking Outside the Bill: A Utility Manager’s Guide to Assisting Low-Income Water Customers (Members only; login required) Questions can be directed to Steve Via , director of federal relations, or Greg Kail , director of communications.