Does Your Home Have Toxic Tap Water?

In a startling new report, the EPA estimates that millions of Americans could be at risk of drinking toxic tap water in their own homes.

The report found that some 9 million people have lead pipes that deliver their water, which are known to be a “significant source” of lead contamination. Lead used to be a prominent pipe-making material until research found the metal was toxic and could lead to health problems. While most lead pipes were replaced with safer materials, the EPA report found that every state still has at least a few thousand pipes still active, with certain states having an excessive number.

“In homes with lead pipes that connect the home to the water main, also known as lead services lines, these pipes are typically the most significant source of lead in the water,” the EPA reported, adding that “lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels, lead is persistent, and it can bioaccumulate in the body over time.”

Based on the report, the EPA estimates that it would cost an incredible $625 billion to revamp American water infrastructure, with more than half that money going to water distribution and transmission.