By Rehan Iqbal
The topic off safe clean drinking water seems to be on everyone’s lips. Generally, throughout the world, concern is growing over this valuable resource. Drought and water contamination is making the challenge of providing American homes with safe drinking water much greater.
Following new EPA LCR rules, many municipalities are finding it difficult to comply with all the requirements. Water filter giant, Brita has stepped up and offered to help. We took a look at the situation.
The EPA Lead and Copper Rule
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are approximately 6 to 10 million lead service lines in the US. Brass faucet fittings have also been identified as a problem. As a result, new Lead and Copper Rules (LCR) have been introduced to increase the rate at which municipalities upgrade their infrastructure to meet basic health rules for safe drinking water. A 15-year target has been set to eliminate all lead piping in the US.
To facilitate the daunting task of replacing the old and dangerous water infrastructure, the Federal Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) has been massively increased for 2022, with even more additional funding for the next 15-years. On the 13th of May, the EPA announced that an additional $1.9 Billion will supplement the existing $7.7 Billion SRF fund.
While the funding through loans and grants will definitely help struggling municipalities and state authorities deal with the situation, it will take a long time before the problem of lead pipes is completely eliminated.
Clean Water for the Next 15-Years
The EPA plans are certainly great news for Americans concerned about safe drinking water in their homes. However, 15-years is a long time. What are we to do while the slow wheels of bureaucracy grind along? This is where Brita has offered to provide an environmentally safe interim solution.
The option exists for municipalities to supply safe bottled water to areas affected by lead pipe infrastructure. Although this is the most common way for authorities to deal with water contamination issues, it is not the best for the environment or state budgets. Bottled water is costly, especially on a grand scale for 15-years. Mass distribution of plastic bottles is also an environmental headache. Typically all those bottles end up in landfill sites. If we’re talking about millions of homes for up to 15-years, that’s a lot of waste plastic.
This is why Brita has risen to the challenge of providing households with lead-free water for the period that it takes local water utilities to upgrade their piping infrastructure. The Brita Clean Water Initiative has been established to assist municipalities meet the challenges set by the EPA. Apart from assisting water supply authorities with advice and planning, Brita will also be making water filtration pitchers available to residents of municipalities affected by lead contamination in their water supply. This will provide homes with safe drinking water while the infrastructure is being modernized to comply with LCR rules.
The Brita Longlast+ water filtration pitcher has been presented as the ideal, cost effective solution to provide lead-free water to affected households, with the least amount of environmental damage. The pitcher requires only 2 filter changes per years. According to Brita their filters last up to 3-times longer than those from competing brands. More importantly, these filters remove up to 99% of lead. This makes it the perfect way to ensure that lead contaminated water is safe to drink. The 10-cup Pacifica pitcher has an electronic reminder so that users know when to replace the filter.
As a temporary solution to a large-scale problem, the Brita water filtration pitchers appears to be the best way to go. Ideally, the lead pipes would have already been dealt with but that is not the case. As a result, home water filtration has become an essential need in many communities.
The Long Road Ahead
Clean safe water is a basic human right. We simply can’t survive without it. With numerous challenges facing governments, providing safe water is an enormous task. Without private partnerships, it would be almost impossible for municipalities to supply safe water to their citizens.
This is why the Brita Clean Water Initiative is such an important milestone in the road toward meeting our safe water objectives. Replacing millions of aging lead pipes is a massive undertaking and will take many years to accomplish. By offering an immediate solution for a long-term problem, this partnership between municipalities and Brita makes it possible for us to feel safe in the knowledge that the water we drink is not going to harm us or our families.
I’m sure there will many more safe water issues that will need to be addressed in the years to come. Industrial waste, agricultural pesticides and herbicides, PFAS, and pollutants from gas refineries, are but a few of the many causes of water contamination in the US. As these toxins continue to accumulate in our ground and surface water supplies, we will face an ever-increasing risk of dangerously high levels of contaminants in our water supplies. Alas, we have to assume that the challenges of providing safe water are going to multiply.
We can only hope that government agencies, like the EPA, keep up with the demanding job of regulating and monitoring drinking water in the US. Accordingly, we should be equally grateful that companies like Brita are willing to help in the effort to ensure that we are all assured of basic right to clean water. Without partnerships like this one, we will be fighting a losing battle.
Yes, there are many challenges that lie ahead. It is, however, refreshing to know that some good old-fashioned American values remain intact. When big business steps in to help the citizens of the country, we can only but admire the determination and community spirit of the nation. Perhaps there’s not enough of this type of cooperation, but at least it still exists. It’s the only way that we can face the challenges of the future with any type of real confidence. Perhaps this example will inspire other water filtration companies to join in the struggle to beat the scourge of water contamination.