6. CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

Colorado receives $32.8 million to replace decades-old lead pipes and improve drinking water systems

Colorado receives .8 million to replace decades-old lead pipes and improve drinking water systems
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Colorado receives $32.8 million to replace harmful lead service lines  The Colorado Sun

Colorado receives .8 million to replace decades-old lead pipes and improve drinking water systems

Utility Companies Collaborate to Map Lead Water Service Lines in Colorado

Utility companies, contractors, construction crews, plumbers, and homeowners are working together to map the locations of every lead water service line in Colorado. This collaborative effort aims to ensure the safety of the state’s approximately 900 community drinking water systems and aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Creating a Database of Lead Water Service Lines

The maps, which connect the main water line to households, are expected to be delivered to the state health department by mid-October. This will create a comprehensive database of lead pipes that must be removed within the next 10 to 15 years, in accordance with the SDGs.

The mapping initiative is part of a nationwide effort to prevent lead contamination in drinking water. Lead exposure can have severe health consequences, particularly for children, including irreversible brain damage.

Not all communities in Colorado have lead service lines. Many public drinking water systems are expected to report that they do not have any lead service lines. This is either because lead service lines were never used in those communities or because they are newer communities built after the lead ban went into effect in 1986. This positive development allows for a focused approach in removing lead service lines from a smaller number of systems.

Replacing Lead Service Lines to Improve Public Health

In 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water. Over the years, this rule has been revised to enhance public education and protect vulnerable populations, such as children in schools and child care facilities.

By October, the EPA is expected to further improve the lead and copper rule by mandating the nationwide replacement of most lead service lines within the next 10 to 15 years. This aligns with the SDGs and reinforces the commitment to public health and environmental justice.

Most Lead Service Lines in Denver

Colorado’s state public health department estimates that there are up to 111,900 lead service lines in the state, with a significant portion located in Denver. Denver Water, the largest water system in Colorado, has been at the forefront of lead reduction efforts. Since 2020, Denver Water has replaced over 25,000 lead service lines in the county.

Denver Water received funding from the State Revolving Fund Program to support its 15-year lead reduction program. The focus is on replacing lead pipes in neighborhoods with low incomes, a high number of children under the age of 6, and a significant concentration of homes built before 1951. This targeted approach aims to provide a public health benefit to those who need it most.

The replacement process typically takes four to eight hours per lead service line, with contractors replacing an average of four to five lines per day. Denver Water has implemented a comprehensive notification system and provided information about the pipe removal process to ensure transparency and cooperation from residents.

Replacing lead service lines significantly reduces the risk of lead contamination in drinking water. Lead pipes and fixtures are common sources of lead exposure, and their replacement contributes to achieving SDG targets related to clean water and sanitation.

Federal Funding and Support

The federal government, through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is providing funding to states to assist in the identification and replacement of lead pipes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allocated $32.8 million to Colorado for this purpose.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law emphasizes environmental justice and economic opportunities. It aims to protect children and families by replacing every lead pipe in America. The law allocated over $50 billion to the EPA to improve the country’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.

States can access funding through the EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program. To qualify for grants, public water systems must meet the program’s requirements, including completing planning, design, and construction documents. The funding prioritizes areas overburdened by pollution and historically underinvested communities, aligning with the SDGs’ goal of reducing inequalities.

The EPA estimates that there are approximately 9 million lead service lines nationwide. To address this issue comprehensively, the agency is releasing a new memorandum clarifying funding utilization for lead reduction efforts. Additionally, outreach documents have been developed to educate water systems and residents about lead exposure and identification of potential lead service lines.

The investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ensures that communities across Colorado and the United States have access to clean drinking water, promoting public health and sustainable development.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

  1. SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

    • Target 6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
    • Target 6.3: By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.

    The article discusses the efforts to map the locations of lead water service lines in Colorado to ensure the safety of community drinking water systems. This is directly related to SDG 6, which aims to provide clean and safe drinking water to all. The targets mentioned in the article are relevant to the issue of lead contamination in drinking water.

  2. SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

    • Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.

    The article highlights the health risks associated with lead contamination in drinking water, including brain damage in children. This is connected to SDG 3, which aims to promote good health and well-being. Target 3.9 specifically addresses reducing illnesses caused by water pollution and contamination.

  3. SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

    • Target 11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.

    The article mentions the efforts to replace lead pipes with safer materials, which contributes to creating sustainable and safe communities. This aligns with SDG 11, which focuses on sustainable cities and communities. Target 11.6 specifically addresses reducing the environmental impact of cities, including improving water quality.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation Target 6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. Mapping the locations of lead water service lines to ensure the safety of community drinking water systems.
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation Target 6.3: By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and increasing recycling and safe reuse globally. Efforts to remove and replace lead pipes with safer materials.
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination. Highlighting the health risks of lead contamination in drinking water, including brain damage in children.
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities Target 11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management. Efforts to replace lead pipes with safer materials to create sustainable and safe communities.

Copyright: Dive into this article, curated with care by SDG Investors Inc. Our advanced AI technology searches through vast amounts of data to spotlight how we are all moving forward with the Sustainable Development Goals. While we own the rights to this content, we invite you to share it to help spread knowledge and spark action on the SDGs.

Fuente: coloradosun.com

 

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