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I understand that the lead ions can be rendered into a precipitate with chloride ions in water treatment, but why on earth does the U.S. still use lead pipes at all when contamination poses an enormous risk?

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    $\begingroup$ I mean, do you know how hard it is to replace a pipe in the ground when people build a skyscraper on top of it? Really hard. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Aug 10, 2018 at 22:08

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Lead pipes have not been used in new construction in the USA for many decades. The problem is with old buildings and old water lines which may still be equipped with lead pipes if they have not been upgraded since new. Copper pipes for residential and commercial construction were common for the last 50 years or so and since they were assembled on-site using lead solder, it is possible to produce lead contamination of water flowing through them even if the copper pipes themselves contain no lead.

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