Ted Corcovilos Develops Portable Device to Test for Lead in Water
Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials will re-examine the treatment used to limit lead in customers' water as levels approach a federal warning threshold and a drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., intensifies worries across the country. Lead can cause irreversible brain damage in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency say there is no safe level of lead exposure for children.
A team of local researchers includig PQI faculty Ted Corcovilos has developed a device to test for the presence of lead in water. This portable device is called Leadglow and is powered by two nine-volt batteries. Part of it was made on a 3D printer.
The EPA requires water providers to test lead levels every three years. Providers test water from the taps of customers and report to the EPA the results falling in the 90th percentile of their samples. The EPA requires providers with 90th percentile results above 15 parts per billion to notify the public of the results, switch to annual testing and re-examine their corrosion control to keep lead from leaching from pipes into the water.
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