Drinking water quality findings from the 2019 Sustainable LA Grand Challenge (SLA GC) Environmental Report Card for Los Angeles County Water were featured in a Cronkite News/Arizona PBS story about lead contamination in California public schools and communities. Lead can leak into drinking water from old pipes and infrastructure, and there is no state requirement for testing drinking water at the tap in homes.
Los Angeles County earned a B+ for drinking water quality on the report card, but the evaluation was characterized as incomplete. “The county does not have enough accessible and updated information for us to do a complete evaluation on the quality of drinking water,” said Felicia Federico, lead author and executive director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities.
Many Los Angeles County residents, especially those in low-income communities where homes and infrastructures are older and most vulnerable to contaminated water, avoid drinking tap water because of visible secondary contaminants. However, SLA GC Director Cassie Rauser noted that, “Primary contaminants, such as lead, are the ones that can actually harm you, but is impossible to detect from looking at the clear water.”
Greg Pierce, adjunct assistant professor and postdoctoral researcher in the Luskin Center for Innovation, is also quoted in the story.
Read more on Cronkite News/Arizona PBS.