AWWA Articles

Whiteboard animation helps households protect against lead in drinking water

One of the keys to reducing lead exposure from drinking water is to arm households with information to address potential risks.

Lead animation videoThe American Water Works Association (AWWA) has released a new whiteboard explainer animation to help consumers understand where lead comes from, how it gets into water, and what households can do to keep their water lead-safe.

“Your water utility strives to provide safe and healthy water for your home,” the animation states. “We all play a role in keeping it that way. Together, let’s get the lead out.”

Available on AWWA's YouTube channel, the three-minute animation advises consumers to work with a plumber to identify sources of lead and whenever possible, to “get the lead out.” It notes that ownership of lead service lines is typically split between the utility and property owner, and that some utilities have programs to assist consumers with the expense of lead service line replacement.

The animation concludes with links to AWWA’s DrinkTap.org lead information, Lead Resource page and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lead information page. AWWA is encouraging sections, utilities and members to provide the link to consumers, public officials, advocates and other stakeholders.

“We hope it is shared far and wide to help protect consumers today as we work for a future when lead is no longer in contact with drinking water,” said AWWA CEO David LaFrance.

With revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule anticipated within the calendar year, lead in water is sure to remain a highly-visible issue for the foreseeable future. Over the past couple years, many water utilities have been diligently creating lead service line inventories and embarking on long-term, collaborative strategies for replacing those lines. Utilities are also examining corrosion control practices and reaching out to school systems to assist them in managing lead.

However, communicating with the public about lead will remain among the most critical, immediate actions utilities can take to reduce risks.

Mary Gugliuzza“Communicating about lead not only protects households from potential risks, it also demonstrates transparency and builds trust between customers and utilities,” said AWWA Public Affairs Council Chair Mary Gugliuzza. “I hope utilities will link to this new animation as part of their core mission to protect public health.” (Pictured at right, Mary Gugliuzza)

In addition to removing potential sources of lead, the whiteboard explainer explains that customers can take immediate steps to protect their households, including:

•    Always begin with cold water for drinking or cooking.
•    When water has not been used for several hours, flush out pipes by running the faucet, taking a shower, doing a load of laundry or washing the dishes.
•    Clean faucet aerators to remove any lead particles.
•    Consider installing and maintaining a home filter certified to remove lead.
•    Have water tested for lead by a certified laboratory.

 

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