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🔬Lead Update & Retention Ponds

Water Nerds

Photo by Sora Sagano / Unsplash

Host: Analies Ross-Dyjak | Head of Policy & Perspectives | Hydroviv
Category: 🔬 Research

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:41] “The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) found that 186 million people in the United States were exposed to elevated levels through their distribution systems or their homes lead infrastructure, from […] January 1 2018, through December 31 2020. […] So this […] is 56% of the American population […] exposed to lead levels that were higher than what's considered to be safe.”

[4:11] “In practice, the current safe level, according to EPA and which is enforced at the municipal level, is 15 parts per billion. […] [However, the American Academy of Pediatrics considers] one part per billion [as safe]. […] So when the NRDC created this analysis, they were going off of the one part per billion […]. So over 50% of the country is exposed to levels higher than what the American Academy of Pediatrics say, is safe.”

[6:02] “The currently proposed infrastructure plan […] under the Biden administration, is proposing something that would […] potentially bring the appropriate level to one part per billion. And that would […] mean replacing every single lead pipe in the country, […] [which] would not be feasible with the current monetary allocation […] and it would also take a really long time.”

[10:42] “[The] NRDC […] created really great maps with areas of the country that were above the one part per billion threshold. They also used the threshold for bottled water, which is five parts per billion […] [which] is allowed in bottled water.”

Rating: 💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple (Original Title: "New Study On Lead in America's Drinking Water")
🕰️ 14 min | 🗓️ 06/07/2021
✅ Time saved: 13 min

Additional Links:
Hydroviv Blog: What You Need To Know About NRDC's Latest Nationwide Lead Report
NRDC: Lead Map

Second Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[0:15] “[Retention ponds are] man made bodies of water on the side of the road, or in the middle of an urban landscape next to a shopping center, or even a housing development, […] [where] they are strategically placed to capture stormwater runoff as it's flowing across roads and parking lots and impervious surfaces. […] So first and foremost, they're designed to slow down, or even capture incoming water […] that's flowing off of impervious surfaces. And they're all also designed to capture and oftentimes filter pollutants that are being picked up as waters flowing. […] This can be things like motor oil, or debris, sediment, even road salts, fertilizers, anything that's on the surface of the ground, that can be picked up as rain is kind of flowing across across the land.”

[1:49] “Typically, a retention pond will include certain characteristics that make it function. […] A grass buffer and vegetation […] that acts to capture contaminants and then also just initially slows down that flow of water, […] mulch and then and specifically engineered soils that also help to filter water and prevent erosion. And then finally, a sand bed or some type of under drain system to help aerate the pond and keep water flowing.”

[3:54] “An interesting thing that […] I think is important to share is that not all retention ponds are lined. So what that means is that oftentimes they'll have this lining to prevent water from entering the groundwater or the soil underneath. […] So sometimes states and municipalities will keep the retention ponds, unlined on purpose. And this is to allow water to percolate down into the groundwater and kind of be naturally filtered before it enters aquifers and then people's wells. […] And then other municipalities and states will make sure that there is aligning on all retention ons or certain retention ponds to prove water from percolating into the groundwater, and causing contamination in really important aquifers that might be used for drinking water.”

[7:56] “Sometimes [retention ponds] don't work, […] [which is] increasingly becoming a problem, because they are getting overloaded with nutrients. So […] as water is flowing, picking up fertilizers and soils, and pesticides […]. So what happens then is algae and plants start to grow. And when they die, and when they decompose, they actually deoxygenate the water. So the water becomes really stale and just really covered in algae, it's not really functioning the way it was designed with the vegetation and the grasses.”

[9:33] “Retention ponds can absolutely improve water quality, if they're working properly, and if they're […] looked after. […] They can absolutely slow down the flow rate of water, they can capture contaminants before that water moves into a drinking water source. They can also eliminate contaminants from entering groundwater. So if you live on a private well, and there's a retention pond a couple miles down the road, if it's lined, then you know that those contaminants aren't percolating into your private well. […] On the other hand, if they are unlined, […] and there are road salts, motor oil, and other harmful contaminants, it can percolate through the groundwater. […] Not all of it gets filtered through the soil, […] [it] can enter your private well.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple (Original Title: "What Is A Retention Pond?")
🕰️ 13 min | 🗓️ 05/27/2021
✅ Time saved: 11 min