Ground Water Canada

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Ground water likely corrosive in half of U.S. states, USGS study says


July 14, 2016
By Ground Water Canada

Reston, VA – A new U.S. Geological Survey assessment of more than 20,000 U.S. wells shows that untreated ground water in 25 states has a high prevalence of being potentially corrosive.

The states with the largest percentage of wells with potentially corrosive ground water are located primarily in the Northeast, the Southeast, and the Northwest, the USGS said in a news release.

This report is unrelated to the drinking water problems experienced in Flint, Michigan, the USGS said. The problems in Flint were related to treated surface water from the Flint River, whereas this report focuses on untreated ground water nationwide.

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Two indicators of potential corrosivity were combined to determine that corrosive ground water occurs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Corrosive ground water, if untreated, can dissolve lead and other metals from pipes and plumbing fixtures.

The release listed potential sources of lead in homes: lead pipes or fittings used in homes built prior to 193, lead solder used in copper fittings in homes built prior to the late 1980s, “lead-free” brass components, which, in all states, except California, may have contained up to eight per cent lead, prior to 2014, and galvanized steel that contained 0.5 to 1.4  per cent lead, prior to 2014.

Read the full assessment.