Amount of copper and lead in water lines to have significant impact on operation of Trenton Municipal Utilities

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At Monday night’s meeting of the Trenton City Council, Utility Director Ron Urton presented information that he says will have a significant future impact on Trenton Municipal Utilities, particularly with operations, projects, and funding.

Urton said he’s been viewing webinars on the new EPA lead and copper rule regarding underground mains. Urton indicated an inventory of the TMU lead, copper, and galvanized lines is due to the government by the year 2024.

Online information says the lead and copper rule is a federal regulation that limits the concentration of lead and copper allowed in public drinking water at the consumer’s tap. Another requirement is to limit the permissible amount of pipe corrosion occurring due to the water itself.

The Environmental Protection Agency has stated studies have concluded copper and lead have had adverse effects on individuals. An effort is to be made to determine copper and lead levels for customers who use lead plumbing parts and eliminate the water as a source of lead and copper. If the lead and copper levels exceed “action levels” water suppliers are required to educate consumers on how to reduce possible exposure to lead. Too much exposure, the study says, can cause damage to the brain, red blood cells, and kidneys, especially for young children and women who are pregnant.

Most of the lead found in drinking water leaches from lead service lines also from customers’ pipes and fittings, rather than from the source water. As a result, sampling is done from the customer’s tap. Trenton has been cited in past years for some older residential areas where a higher than allowed concentration of lead was present.

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