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July 19, 2011 > More must be done to protect drinking water

More must be done to protect drinking water

Submitted By Andrew LaMar

Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) praised the results of state testing of plumbing parts for lead, unveiled on July 15, 2011, that was required by legislation she authored in 2008 but said that follow up is needed to ensure California's drinking water is safe.

The state Department of Toxic Substance Control tested 44 faucets and plumbing fixtures used for drinking water to make sure they meet California's stringent health standards for lead. All faucets tested met the state standards but some fittings did not.

Corbett's Senate Bill 1395 mandated tests to spot check faucets and plumbing fittings sold across the state in recognition that safe drinking water involves more than just the source and the pipes which they are delivered.

"I am glad all of the faucets tested, in this first year, passed," Corbett said. "However, some plumbing parts used for drinking water did not; that means we me must follow up and ensure those parts are not sold in California. It's essential we enforce California's lead-free plumbing laws so all consumers know their water is being adequately protected."

California's first-in-the-nation, lead-free plumbing act dramatically lowers the allowable levels of lead on surfaces that come into contact with public drinking water. The act served as a model for federal regulations signed into law by President Barack Obama last January.

"The impacts of lead exposure on children last a life-time and are irreversible. This landmark lead standard for new faucets helps to ensure that children's exposure to lead will be significantly reduced," said John A. Coleman, president of the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

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