News Briefs: L.A. Mayor Threatens Utility Shutoffs for Those Holding House Parties

Also in this week's sewer and water news, the EPA announces its final rule to reduce lead in plumbing materials used by public water systems

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently unveiled a plan to shut off utilities for anyone holding house parties in the city that violate COVID-19 health orders, but the Lost Angeles Police Protective League is pushing back.

The league argues that officers should be focused on crime instead of policing house parties. “Mayor Garcetti keeps tying himself into knots,” LAPPL wrote on its Facebook page. “He wants to reimagine policing, so he should send his staff to turn off people’s electricity and cut off their water and let police officers deal with the rise in shootings and killings in Los Angeles.”

The proposed penalty to shut off water and electricity would be handed down to houses that repeatedly hold large gatherings, according to the mayor.

Madison Water Utility Finds PFAS in All Its Wells

Madison (Wisconsin) Water Utility recently completed its annual comprehensive testing for PFAS in the city’s drinking water wells. Results show at least some PFAS are present in every Madison well, with total amounts ranging from 2.5 to 47 ppt. All wells tested show PFAS levels far below the proposed safe drinking water limit that is being considered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

PFAS chemicals are not yet regulated in drinking water, but a regulatory limit could be announced by the DNR as early as next year.

“We are fortunate that levels are so low here in Madison. The same can’t be said for every community. When detected, PFAS were found at levels well below the safe level in drinking water recommended by Wisconsin Department of Health Services,” says Joe Grande, Water Quality Manager for Madison Water Utility.

USDA Invests $462 Million to Update Water/Wastewater Infrastructure in Rural Communities

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $462M to modernize critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across rural America.

“Upgrading the infrastructure that delivers safe drinking water and modern wastewater management facilities will improve public health and drive economic development in our small towns and cities,” Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand says.

USDA is funding 161 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. These investments will benefit 467,000 residents.

EPA Announces Step in Effort to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a final rule to reduce lead in plumbing materials used in public water systems, homes, schools and other facilities. This action marks a significant milestone in implementing the Trump Administration’s Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts.

The new rule reduces the percentage of lead content allowed in these materials from 8% to 0.25% in accordance with the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act. The final rule also requires that manufacturers or importers certify that their products meet the requirements using a consistent verification process.


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