The American Water Works Association has designated May 4-10, 2014 as National Drinking Water Week. While we have abundant, clean, fresh drinking water in Boston, concern for continued access to healthy water is on the minds of people throughout the United States. After several years of continuous drought, towns in the southern and western United States are increasingly turning to wastewater recycling to provide an ongoing source of clean, safe drinking water.
In and around Boston, efforts to improve the safety of the area’s drinking water have revolved around separating rainwater from wastewater by eliminating illegal sump pump connections and removing lead contamination from the water delivery system.
Last month, the Massachusetts Water Abatement Trust awarded more than $500 million to Massachusetts communities to help them deal with the cost of repairing, replacing and improving their water delivery and sewer systems. In Revere, for example, homeowners whose sump pumps connect directly to the sewer system can take advantage of the town’s Sump Pump Amnesty Program.
This program allows the homeowners to disconnect illegal sump connections at no cost to the homeowner. After the amnesty program expires, homeowners will be required to pay the full cost of disconnecting illegal sump connections, and may also face fines. To take advantage of the Sump Pump Amnesty Program, Revere residents must notify the City of Revere before December 31, 2015.
Keeping storm water out of the sanitary sewer system is an important strategy for maintaining the sanitary sewer system, and ensuring that storm water influx doesn’t exceed the sewer system capacity. It also helps manage the water treatment process.
Many Boston-area homes have sump pumps that discharge into the sanitary sewer system, but not all towns have a sump pump amnesty program. In this case, homeowners must pay for the cost of fixing illegal sump connections. If you have an illegal sump connection, or suspect that you may, Boston Standard Plumbing can help you create a safe, legal and cost-effective storm water discharge system for your home. By repairing illegal sump connections now, you can increase the value of your home and make your home more attractive to prospective homebuyers.
Lead contamination is another significant problem for some homes in Boston. In most cases, lead pipes have been removed from the municipal water delivery system, but some area homes may still have lead water connections and lead-containing fixtures in the home.
The EPA-recognized safe level of lead in drinking water is 0 ppb, and the only way to truly mitigate the presence of lead in drinking water is to locate the source of the contamination and remove it. Boston Standard Plumbing can help you identify lead water connections in your home, and sources of lead (including solder and lead-containing fixtures) in your home’s plumbing system.
If you have concerns about a potentially illegal sump connection in your home, or lead contamination in your home’s water supply, please give us a call at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911. We’ll be happy to perform an inspection and develop a mitigation plan for your home. Don’t forget to “like” us Boston Standard Plumbing on Facebook, and enjoy a cold glass of fresh, clean water during National Drinking Water Week!