What You Can Do About Lead Pipes in Your Community

There is no safe level of lead in drinking water, yet millions of lead pipes are still in service today across North America. These pipes present a serious water quality threat and health risk. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), lead is a serious neurotoxin and can cause irreparable brain damage, especially for children and pregnant women. Residents who live in areas where lead is an issue should take steps to minimize their exposure.

Take Action

The only permanent solution to lead in water contamination is to replace all lead piping. Both property owners and municipalities can enact replacement projects. If an area has a large number of lead pipes – such as Flint, Michigan or Newark, New Jersey – a municipality may initiate and fund a replacement program.

Property owners should check with their area’s water department to see if a replacement program already exists, what subsidies exist if any, and if registration is required. Beyond replacement, individuals may also turn to advocacy to initiate or accelerate lead replacement.

  • Write City Officials and Legislators: Consider writing your local, city or state officials encouraging them to enact municipality-scale replacement programs. If an area already has a replacement program, you can encourage officials to distribute short-term solutions such as bottled water or filters. Click here to begin your letter using our free template.
  • Submit a Letter to the Editor: Submit letters to editors of local newspapers or media outlets encouraging them to report on lead line replacement. Local media outlets can be exceptionally influential on public opinion. By helping educate them on pipe replacement programs, it may increase the likelihood of a municipality taking action. Click here to begin your letter using our free template.
Learn more about lead service lines, including installation best practices and fact sheets.