How many times have I said it? Water is such a universally accepted topic that any politician, businessman or activist who makes a claim to be saving water will be immediately accepted as a hero. That is the downside, the opium if you will, about water; people with absolutely no understanding of water can be vaulted forward in the public eye as water saviors.
Enter Kamala Harris. For sure her idea of spending $250 billion on water infrastructure is a wonderful idea. However, her idea of where to spend the money is greatly flawed and would lead America to spend a lot of taxpayer dollars and get very little benefit.
Kamala wants to replace all of America’s lead pipes. Why? What are her technical reasons? Is it because lead is toxic? While this is true it is also true that replacing lead pipes will do very little, if anything to improve the quality of America’s drinking water.
Unbeknownst to the untrained water soldier if we were to take a sample of any given city water out of a copper, a plastic and a lead pipe we would find that the differing lead levels of the three samples would be indistinguishable. Surprised? It is absolutely true. Here is why.
Municipal water supplies are required to produce water that is scale producing. Do you know the yucky looking stuff that forms on the inside of your hot water pipes and tanks? Yeah, well, it is that yucky stuff that protects you and me from lead leaking out into our drinking water. Over time regardless of the pipe material, a coating of calcium/magnesium/iron scale builds up and lines the inside of the pipe. That coating keeps our water from ever touching the actual pipe itself. So, regardless of what the pipe is made out of, the water is unaffected by it.
The only time lead pipes become a problem is when they are disturbed with breakage or replacement, or when, in instances like Flint, Michigan the water authority puts out corrosive water that softens the coating and leaches metals into the drinking water.
Spending $250 million on water infrastructure is a great idea. As long as politicians don’t decide how to spend it.