The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) has released a new survey that estimates New York to have around 360,000 lead pipes in its public water system.
These findings put New York in fourth place for the highest number of lead pipes in the nation. Since 2017, the New York State has committed $5 billion to clean water infrastructure investment, but this has not addressed the 360,000 lead pipes currently in use in the state.
NRDC’s national survey of water service lines found that up to 12.8 million lead pipes supply homes with drinking water. Across all 50 states, lead pipes have been identified, and up to 12 million people are thought to drink water contaminated by this metal.
Lead is considered unsafe even in trace levels, and poses numerous health concerns, including kidney damage, infertility, and nerve and brain damage.
While removing lead from drinking water is relatively easy, many people don’t even know that their water contains this contaminant.
In a press release for the survey, Joan Leary Matthews, Senior Attorney at NRDC, said:
“New York needs to pull hundreds of thousands of lead pipes out of the ground to ensure safe water for all its residents. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will help New York to address this safe drinking water crisis while creating high-quality jobs repairing this critical infrastructure. Removing these lead pipes will help all New York families, especially low-income families who are most impacted by lead exposure.”
Click here for the NRDC’s map of lead pipes found in every state.