Recent drinking water lead contamination crises in Flint, Mich., and Newark, N.J. are raising concerns about the ability of traditional lead monitoring programs to measure the presence of all forms of lead; capture unpredictable changes in water quality that result in lead corrosion; and report the contamination risk before the water is delivered to the customer. In addition, EPA found that city-distributed water filters in Newark may be failing to address acute lead contamination as some samples showed that filtered drinking water had lead levels exceeding 15 ppb since the effectiveness of filters largely depends on how they are used, the water chemistry and how much lead is in the water.
Aqua Metrology Systems (AMS), a pioneer in the prediction, control and treatment of trace metals, has an Innovation Center, based in Wyckoff, N.J., dedicated to the development and commercialization of the company’s solutions for reducing the risk of lead contamination by providing water systems and communities real-time lead monitoring solutions to protect public health.
“Despite millions of dollars being spent on traditional lead monitoring programs, these only serve to create the impression that something is being done. If monitoring programs are working, how is it possible that in 2010 there were 1.2 million children with elevated blood lead levels in the U.S.? And since then we’ve had the lead crises in Flint and Newark, America’s lead management problem is dire,” said Rick Bacon, CEO of AMS.
The EPA Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) rule requires systems to monitor drinking water at a very limited number of customer taps. If lead concentrations exceed an action level of 15 ppb or copper concentrations exceed an action level of 1.3 ppm in more than 10% of customer taps sampled, the system must undertake a number of additional actions to control corrosion. However, systems are required to conduct monitoring only every six months and they may qualify for reduced monitoring, and the number of collection testing samples is based on system size. The usefulness of field test kits for lead is also questionable because they cannot detect the presence of undissolved lead.
“It is highly unlikely that the infrequent sampling of a few homes will capture the moment when corrosion occurs in a water distribution system, and if it does, it will only be once consumers have been exposed to contamination. Consumers, regulators and drinking water companies need a ‘canary-in-the-mine’ that will provide advance warning of an increased risk of lead contamination so that actions can be taken to avoid exposing consumers to that,” Bacon said.
“With the development of our online total lead analyzer, both consumers and water treatment plants will be made aware of an increase in the risk of lead poisoning so they can take timely actions to avoid that. Our innovative solution offers communities real-time, continuous and dynamic water quality assessment of the presence of total lead in buildings or zones exposed to events that are the cause of acute lead contamination to reduce the risk of exposure.”
AMS currently is actively soliciting utilities, communities, schools, hospitals, care facilities, interested in pilot testing its automated lead analyzer.
Aqua Metrology Systems Ltd. (AMS) believes real-time water quality analysis and remediation are essential to environmental protection. AMS is a leader in the control of water treatment systems across municipal and industrial sectors in which disinfection byproducts (i.e., THMs) and trace metals are contaminants of concern. AMS’ online analytical instrumentation provides the high-frequency, predictive, accurate and reliable water quality data that are essential to ensuring treatment systems operate efficiently while meeting regulatory and performance standards. AMS is the pioneer of the intelligent water treatment system with its SafeGuard H2O, an innovative solution for removing trace metals that integrates real-time sensing.
For more information, visit www.aquametrologysystems.com.