Councilwomen propose bills to get lead out of Philadelphia water

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City Council members discuss their bills to ensure Philadelphia water is free of contaminants.(Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

City Council members discuss their bills to ensure Philadelphia water is free of contaminants.(Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Two Philadelphia councilwomen are launching a new effort to prevent lead poisoning through the city’s water supply. 

The package of bills is designed to guarantee Philadelphia’s drinking water is safe, said Councilwoman Helen Gym.  “That insures that Philadelphia takes a 50-year-old problem like lead poisoning and tackles it with a renewed effort and vigor to make sure that this city is vigilant compliant and up to date,” she said Tuesday.Councilwoman Cindy Bass said the key is to make sure people know about lead in the pipes of the city’s aging housing stock.”So that I can make an educated decision as a mother about where I’m going to live, what I need to do, and what kind of access to lead may occur if I move into a particular property,” Bass said.If passed by the entire Council, the bills would monitor drinking water at schools for lead and mandate that day care centers are certified as lead safe before they’re granted a license to operate.

Last week, a class-action suit was filed against the city alleging that water main construction projects elevated the risk of toxic lead contamination in drinking water and that the city attempted to conceal that danger “by rigging its lead-testing procedures.”

 

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