Bedford-Stuyvesant

Bed-Stuy water has some of the city’s highest lead levels

September 28, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A picturesque Bed-Stuy block. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

Tap water in Bedford-Stuyvesant shows some of the city’s highest lead levels, according to a study from the NYC Independent Budget Office. Based on water testing from 2006 through 2016, more than 5.5 percent of lead tests in Bed-Stuy found water samples above 15 parts per billion, referred to as the “action level” by EPA, according to BKReader.

High lead levels in tap water were also found in Crown Heights, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, BKReader reported. This situation may reflect the fact that these neighborhoods contain many smaller buildings constructed in the 1920s and ‘30s. At that time, lead service pipes were common, but they were only used in smaller buildings because the lead material limited the pipe diameter to 2 inches, BKReader said.

While lead pipes have been outlawed since 1961, there is no law on the books making landlords replace the old service pipes with newer ones that don’t contain lead – except when the pipes are damaged and must be replaced anyway.

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