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Indiana Taking a Step in Reducing Lead in Water Pipes

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The previous February, Muncie Star Press reported a story on local residents rallying to demand comprehensive lead sampling emitted by Exide Technologies. Muncie residents were concerned about lead pollution in the soil, air, and water in the housing surrounding the factory. Evidence of lead poisoning of two children was traced back to the factory after being exposed through two employees’ clothing and shoes.

Lead poisoning can lead to serious health problems. The issue is that lead is found in common, everyday objects and is also hidden in homes and school drinking systems. Indiana does not require schools to be tested for lead in their water fixtures; therefore, the lack of accountability makes it hard to know if the water your child is drinking is truly safe or not. As of June, 43 percent of public schools are enrolled in Indiana’s lead testing program sponsored by the Indiana Finance Authority. Muncie Community Schools are participating in this program according to the Finance Authority’s database.

Water companies in Northern Indiana are taking steps to reduce lead exposure by capitalizing on a recent law passed in 2017— House Bill 1519. Before the law passed, utility companies could only replace pipes up to the meter but now can run entire new lines through owners’ property. There are concerns about the government replacing and maintaining water lines on private property, but lawmakers are considering it okay because of the health and cost benefits to the landowners.

How Lead Gets into Muncie Drinking Water

 

Lead can make its way into local drinking water when service pipes containing lead corrode due to high water acidity or low mineral content. One of the most common issues is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures that are soldered with lead. A decent amount of lead can make its way into the water from the point of corrosion. There is an even higher concentration amount when hot water is running.

There is more chance for lead presence in homes that were built before 1986. It is typical for older homes to have lead pipes, fixtures, and solder. The Environmental Protection Agency has published several resources about lead testing and regulations for your drinking water:

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Water You Are Drinking: All community water systems have to deliver an annual water quality report. You can receive the latest report by contacting your water utility company.
  • Test Your Water for Lead: As a homeowner, you can have your water tested for lead. In general, this is recommended since lead cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled.

Who’s Responsible for Lead in My Drinking Water?

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If you become ill due to lead in your drinking water, you may wonder who can be held responsible. In certain circumstances, you may have a premises liability case on your hands.

For example, if you become ill at a hotel that has lead in its drinking water, you may have a potential premises liability case. However, determining who is responsible is a challenge. Would it be the hotel? Potentially, but you’d have to prove that they knew about the lead in the drinking water and did nothing to solve the problem even though they had a reasonable amount of time to do so. But who maintains the hotel’s pipes? Who installed them in the first place? Is this pipe problem an isolated incident at the hotel, or do all hotels in the city suffer from lead contamination?

These are complicated legal questions. A Muncie personal injury attorney can help you determine if you have a premises liability case if you suffered from lead poisoning.

Consult Muncie Personal Injury Attorneys

Lead is a dangerous substance that is hidden to the eye; therefore, when someone is diagnosed with lead poisoning, it is usually after the person has been exposed for quite some time. If you’ve fallen ill due to lead poisoning, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call or contact us online for your free consultation today.