The latest research on the District’s decade-long effort to reduce lead in its drinking water is likely to reverberate well beyond the city’s borders and add a chapter to one of the more tortuous public health chronicles of the past century.
How much lead is too much? A report released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the water supplied to almost 15,000 homes might still contain dangerous levels of lead despite the partial replacement of lead pipes at the homes from 2004 to 2008. The findings called into question what was once one of the city’s chief methods of mitigating lead contamination of drinking water. The federal government ordered the District’;s water authority – now called D.C. Water – to carry out those replacements, but the CDC study found that they didn’t solve the problem.