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Water Researchers to Study Coating Options for Lead, Copper Lines

Friday, January 21, 2011

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Water Research Foundation

New coating and lining technologies that might serve as alternatives to lead service line replacement will be the focus of federally funded research by the Water Research Foundation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Center for Environmental Research has awarded the foundation $600,000 under NCER’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program to conduct the research, WaterRF announced Wednesday (Jan. 19).

The project will comprehensively evaluate lead service line (LSL) lining and coating technologies as alternatives to full or partial LSL replacement. The research also will evaluate the use of these coatings as a means of protecting and repairing both lead and copper service lines.

‘Informed Decisions’ on Coatings, Linings

“This research will provide water utilities, engineering consultants, decision-makers, consumers, and other interested parties with the science-based information and supporting documentation needed to make informed decisions regarding lining and coating of both lead and copper service lines,” said Rob Renner, the foundation’s executive director.

“As such, it should prove invaluable to all parties involved in the evaluation of existing service lines, to determine how that drinking water infrastructure can be cost-effectively maintained or repaired.

“Given the overall age and condition of the nation’s drinking water infrastructure, this research comes at a perfect time.”

Research to be Available

The Water Research Foundation is contracting with Dr. Steve Randtke of the University of Kansas to conduct most of the research. The foundation will manage the project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

Upon completion, the research findings will be available to all foundation members and public health organizations.

“Lead in drinking water is an issue of growing importance nationally, and this groundbreaking research is but the latest in a series of foundation studies that address different aspects of this issue,” the foundation said in a prepared statement.

Focus on Drinking Water

The grant was awarded through a competitive solicitation process established by NCER. The STAR program funds research grants in various environmental science and engineering disciplines. Drinking water is one of STAR’s current focuses.

Founded in 1966, the Water Research Foundation (formerly known as the Awwa Research Foundation) is an international, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that sponsors research to enable water utilities, public health agencies and other professionals to provide safe and affordable drinking water to the public.

With more than 950 subscriber members who provide water to 80% of the U.S. population, the Water Research Foundation ( has sponsored more than $460 million in research, producing nearly 1,000 completed projects.


Tagged categories: Infrastructure; Lead; Linings; Protective coatings; Research

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