PeaceOfMind.GetTheLeadOut History

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March 08, 2016, at 09:15 PM by Tyler Schuster - 1 addition
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Get The Lead Out

By Robert Miranda, Editor: Wisconsin Spanish Journal

March 9, 2016

It must be said to Mayor Barrett that using additives to reduce lead in lead Lateral pipes doesn’t completely block the toxic metals from our drinking water that enters our homes. Instead, Mayor Barrett should have opted to replace the 40% of lead lateral water pipes contaminating the water of 70,000 homes in Milwaukee as soon as he learned of this toxic time bomb

When did Mayor Barrett know these lead lateral pipes were still a threat to the lives of our children?

In a recent interview on FOX 6 News, the Mayor stated that his administration did not have a solution to this problem. I find that hard to believe. How is it that the City of Madison, Wisconsin, was able to find a solution to replacing 8,000 lead water pipes in their city at a cost of $15.5 million dollars, yet Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s only idea is to put more ortho-phosphate in the water to combat the menace of lead in our water?

This may be the cheapest way to meet federal standards, but it is the riskiest way to keep our water clean and our children safe.

Why is it that Madison can solve the lead pipe issue by implementing a plan in which costs were shared between the city and property owners, and yet in Milwaukee, the City Treasurer tells the property owners to pick up the entire cost and City Hall will abate those cost for the next six years! This is absurd.

Wherever there is lead paint, the city aggressively attacks the matter. We have lead paint programs up the wazoo in this city, but when it comes to replacing lead lateral water pipes—well, out of sight, out of mind.

The Mayor says that the water is tested aggressively and that, after our cryptosporidium chapter, our water has been safe and clean. What the Mayor seems to ignore is the fact that temporary spikes in lead levels in our water can’t be detected by using federally mandated sampling procedures, which are infrequent. One has to wonder about the amount of lead spikes that have occurred over the years in our drinking water contaminated by toxic metal.

The stakes are high because lead causes irreversible brain damage and children are the most vulnerable. With 60% of Milwaukee’s children already suffering from lead poisoning, we must face the fact that we must pay for the future of our children and their special needs— which require long-term expensive treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control says that lead metal has been linked to heightened risk of fetal death and other problems in pregnant women.

We know that when samples show too much lead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls for adding chemicals that create a coating on pipe interiors that prevents water from absorbing the poisonous metal. The Mayor says that is what the City is doing. But what the Mayor doesn’t say is that such practice works well on new pipes, but is not reliable on the lead in the lateral pipes that affect 70,000 homes in Milwaukee.

Is replacing the pipes the panacea? Maybe not. But one thing is certain. At least the pipes would be new and not filed with chemical soup and other gumbo looking goo caused by years of chemical treatment.

If the community is willing to pay over $124 million dollars to build a 3.1 mile streetcar for bar hopping, surely the city must pay for safe drinking water for our children and the expecting mothers of our city.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on March 08, 2016, at 09:15 PM

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