Toxic Levels of Lead and Copper in Groundwater Can Be Caused by Stray Electrical Current
Monday, December 4, 2017: 3:50 p.m.
102 A (Music City Center)
Throughout Pennsylvania and most other states, both lead and copper are not usually found in groundwater at toxic levels. News from the Flint, Michigan corrosive water crisis has caused homeowners with a water well to test their tap-water. A few homeowners and commercial building owners are finding toxic levels of lead and copper. This presentation will explain how stray electrical current flowing through their water piping is causing the toxic levels of lead and copper found in their tap-water, when their source groundwater is not corrosive and contains non-detect levels of lead and only trace levels of copper. Stray electrical current is a little-known cause of corrosion that dissolves lead from solder and dissolves copper from the piping. Several case-history examples will be used to show the major stray electrical current causes and some corrective actions. The electrochemical process that dissolves the two metals will be explained.