#Colorado: State encourages drinking water transparency — Fort Collins Coloradoan

Roman lead pipe -- Photo via the Science Museum
Roman lead pipe — Photo via the Science Museum

From the Fort Collins Coloradan (Jacy Marmaduke):

State officials are encouraging Colorado drinking water systems to share information about lead pipes with the public in response to an Environmental Protection Agency directive.

The EPA in February sent letters to state governors, tribal leaders and environmental and public health commissioners urging them to keep the public better informed of the locations of lead service lines, among other things.

Lead pipes and soldering are frequent causes of lead contamination in drinking water.

In March, the Coloradoan found that Larimer County leads the state in the number of sites with drinking water test results that met or exceeded the regulatory standard for lead between 2012 and 2015. Four sites clustered near Estes Park met or exceeded the lead standard during that period.

The EPA letter, released after a national uproar about high levels of lead in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water, asked states to work with public water systems, with a priority on larger systems, to post either on the state website or the water system’s website a materials inventory including the locations of lead service lines.

In response, Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, wrote to the EPA in April that the state will begin encouraging water systems to share that information with the public.

CDPHE has started emailing water systems about the subjects broached in the EPA letter and will include an article about lead in its quarterly newsletter in May, department spokesman Mark Salley said. Additional articles are likely, and the department is planning to hold outreach meetings around the state this year to discuss lead, Salley said.

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