MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (June 14, 2016) - - - Recently, local news publications and
media picked up on an article published by The Guardian regarding lead testing.The Guardian article contains a number of factual errors and attempts to make the
case that many states and water systems, including both Mount Pleasant Waterworksand Charleston Water System, have been “cheating” or using “tricks” in connection
with compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule and knowingly endangering publichealth. During interviews with Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Charleston Water
System our representatives informed the media that many of these allegations wereinaccurate and misleading in our view.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released a statement (copy
attached) that lays out the various steps they’re taking, in concert with states andwater systems, to improve implementation of the Lead and Copper Rule. The
statement contains the following language in the first paragraph, which we believe iscritical in proving that The Guardian’s article was based on incomplete information
that could create unnecessary public concern.
“A 2008 letter on pre-stagnation flushing was directed to an individual water utilityand was not framed as national guidance. The Lead and Copper Rule does not
prohibit practices of pre-stagnation flushing and removal of aerators, but EPA’sFebruary 2016 memorandum reflects the agency’s recommendations on these
The 2008 letter to which the excerpt refers was sent by the EPA to a single publicwater utility (then known as the DW Water and Sewer Authority). It was not the
national guidance that The Guardian article implies. Since the Lead and Copper Ruledid not prohibit pre-stagnation flushing, many states historically allowed this practice
as a means to help ensure that a sample was being collected from a representativetap, in common use. That practice was not revised by the EPA until the February
2016 guidance was issued.
The EPA may issue some additional clarifications relative to The Guardian article, andif so, we will pass those along and adjust our protocols accordingly. In the
meantime, we would like to request that our local media representatives provide theresidents of the Lowcountry with this important clarifying information that proves
that information published by The Guardian was less than completely factual andthat both Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Charleston Water System have properly
performed lead testing in accordance with EPA guidance in effect at the time.
For questions or comments from EPA please contact:Christina Wadlington