At least 3000, according to one report that is referenced in Farron Cousins’ summary of America’s water crisis. That is, there are at least 3000 places in America, cities or neighborhoods in larger cities, where the measured levels of lead in drinking water is at least double the levels measured in Flint.
Flint was indeed the event that brought public attention to lead poisoning, but the issue is much, much more widespread. This particular information comes from an extensive and well-illustrated article published by Reuters.
As bad as that is, it’s just part of the bad news. America has about 1.2 million miles of lead water service lines. They have a service life of about 75 years, and most are at or approaching that age. The estimate to replace – around $1 trillion, or close to $3000 for every man, woman and child in the country.
But wait, there’s more.
A report from Michigan State University “notes that water prices across the country have risen by about 41 percent since 2010, and if this particular trend continues, 35.6 percent of American households will not be able to afford water services within the next five years.”
Cousin’s article is worth reading carefully, and the several reports cited are also worth the same careful reading. This is the kind of real, long-term problem that all levels of government should be focused on, with a much higher priority than building the Great Wall on Mexico or investigating imaginary voter fraud.