Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lead in Water from Power Plants Must Be Addressed

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lead in Water from Power Plants Must Be Addressed

Article excerpt

Recently in the Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh's lead problems have regained their rightful place in local conversation (Jan. 23, "Lead Levels Up Again in City Water Lines, Latest Tests Show"). Lead levels in Pittsburgh's water have risen from 15 parts per billion to a disconcerting 21 ppb. In 2014, a switch in corrosion control chemicals led to further erosion of lead pipes and solder.

While the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has since switched the corrosion control chemicals to a less damaging composition, another less publicized factor is contributing to lead levels in the rivers as well as eroding Pittsburgh's pipes - coal-fired power plants. Coal-fired power plants, like the one in Cheswick, are dumping hundreds of pounds of lead into the Allegheny River. Byproducts from the plant, like bromides, erode lead pipes and the lead solder present in many non-lead pipes. …

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