AWWA Articles

AWWA's whiteboard animation helps households protect against lead in drinking water

(DENVER) - The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has released an animated whiteboard explainer that helps consumers understand how to protect their households from the risk of lead in drinking water.

“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.” Some older homes have lead service lines or plumbing fixtures, fittings and solder that contain lead.

Water utilities adjust water chemistry at treatment plants – a process known as corrosion control – to minimize the possibility that lead will dissolve or break off into drinking water. However, property owners and households can also play important roles in protecting against lead exposure. They can:

•    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 properly maintaining a home filter certified to remove lead.
•    Have water tested for lead by a certified laboratory.

Noting that ownership of lead service lines is typically split between the utility and property owner, the animation points out that some utilities have programs in place to assist consumers with the expense of lead service line replacement.

 “If we understand how lead gets into drinking water, we’re in a better position to protect our households,” said AWWA CEO David LaFrance. “This simple animation points out where the sources of lead typically are and what steps we can take to protect against exposure.

“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.”

Consumer information on protecting against lead in drinking water is also available at DrinkTap.org, awwa.org/lead and epa.gov/lead.

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Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 51,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

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