Freshwater Weekly — May 25, 2018
This week: 10 Ways to Prevent Invasive Species + Lake Erie Algae Forecast + Michigan Close to Passing Stricter Lead Standard
Happy Memorial Day!
Freshwater Future wishes you a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. We hope you have the chance to get out and enjoy our Great Lakes waterways. We love hearing from residents around the region, so share your favorite weekend freshwater photos and memories with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #freshwatersummer.
10 Ways You Can Prevent Invasive Species
Summer weather has descended upon the Great Lakes and with it millions of residents and tourists—boats, kayaks, paddle boards, and swimsuits in tow. With all that movement comes an increased risk for spreading nuisance invasive species like Asian carp, eurasian milfoil, emerald ash borer, and non-native cattails. Check out our newest blog post on the best ways YOU can prevent the spread of invasive species this summer.
Lake Erie Algae Forecast: Record Bloom Unlikely, But Expect Thick Scum
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), alongside the National Center for Water Quality Research, has released preliminary Lake Erie data that suggests this year’s bloom likely won’t be as bad as last year, but will certainly beat the 2016 bloom. Check out NOAA’s May 7th projection graphs here.
Michigan One Step Closer to Stricter Lead Standard
A pending rule change would lower the “action level” for lead from 15 parts per billion (ppb) to 12 ppb in 2025, which means 90% of system samples must be below that level or broader intervention is required. Alternatively put, up to 10% of samples can be above 12 ppb in 2025 and beyond. A new stipulation will ensure samples are taken from the highest-risk sites and that state-of-the-art lead detection methods are used. The rule would also mandate that water utilities replace at least 5% of their inventoried lead service lines per year, and ban partial replacement of lead service pipes. Michigan has approximately 500,000 lead service lines. Replacement costs approximately $5,000/line, making full replacement pricey.
Freshwater Future remains skeptical that this rule change will be effective in preventing lead exposure, and we’re alarmed at the attached, unfunded mandate. Replacing lead service lines should be a priority as public utilities update their infrastructure, but in municipalities with thousands of lead service lines—often low-income communities of color—the high cost of quick replacement will likely be passed on to residents already suffering egregiously high service rates. We’re working with our community partners across the state to fight for proper funding and ensure all residents have access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water.
Ways to Make a Difference
There are lots of simple ways to help protect our waters. Find more at freshwaterfuture.org/take-action.