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Power & Utilities

Lead in Water Meter and Curb Valves iStock_000007034219XSmall

A major city installed brass water meters and curb valves that, according to the manufacturer, were supposed to contain approximately 5% or less of lead. It was later discovered, however, that many of these components contained as much as 7% lead alloy, which prompted a Proposition 65 claim. Cardno ChemRisk conducted a blood lead analysis of the potential increase in population blood lead levels due to the incremental difference of lead leached from the 7% components versus the 5% components. This analysis was conducted using Monte Carlo techniques to determine a distribution of potential drinking water concentrations based upon various water types in the city system. Both the U.S. EPA Integrated Uptake Biokinetic Model for Lead in Children and a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model were used to determine potential impacts and increases to blood lead levels.