Lead Pipes: Will Wisconsin Steer Funds to Those Who Need It Most?

"In the state with the most lead pipes per capita, new criteria for funding prioritizes projects in low-income communities and those that remove lead service lines."

"Even though two of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, border Wisconsin, many of the state’s residents in formerly redlined communities still do not have easy access to clean and safe drinking water.

Wisconsin has the highest number of lead pipes per capita nationwide, making lead in drinking water one of Wisconsin’s most significant health issues. Bacteria, nitrates, PFAS, arsenic and radium have also recently come to light as water quality concerns there.

“You’re drinking good water through a lead-based straw,” said Richard Diaz, a Milwaukee native and Coalition on Lead Emergency chair.

Communities of color and low-income families in Wisconsin are disproportionately affected by lead poisoning, a 2016 report showed. According to the state’s Department of Natural Resources, some drinking water fixtures were manufactured with lead until less than three decades ago. Currently, about 176,000 homes and businesses still receive their water from pipes made of lead. "

Aydali Campa reports for Inside Climate News November 7, 2022.

Source: Inside Climate News, 11/07/2022