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Lead in drinking water comes primarily from corrosion of service lines that connect the water main to a building. The total number of lead service lines in the United States is unknown.
Through our statistical analysis of 4 water systems' geospatial lead data and U.S.
EPA estimates water and sewer utilities will need to spend $655 billion over the next 20 years to maintain, upgrade, or replace water infrastructure. Many midsize and large cities that lost a large percentage of their population are struggling to replace their pipes and treatment plants.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that a potential gap between future needs and current spending for wastewater infrastructure of $150 billion to $400 billion could occur over the next decade.