States Must Buy Filters While Fixing America’s Drinking Water Systems 

To improve local water infrastructure, $5.8 billion in U.S. federal funding has been distributed to many states across the country in the past two weeks where unsafe drinking water conditions exist, disproportionately impacting primarily Black, Indigenous, People of Color, rural, and low-income communities. This funding is just part of the $50 billion water infrastructure investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 which is being funneled to states through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. This investment provides a significant opportunity for states to purchase and distribute clean water solutions, such as filters. 

In some communities, big infrastructure upgrades, such as full lead service line replacement, are needed. Many of these projects are expected to take many years—even decades—to complete, even with the influx of new funding. States need to provide an immediate solution for families to access safe, clean drinking water. Historically, many families have had to turn to costly single-use water bottles to avoid pollutants such as lead. However, single-use plastic bottles, like all plastics, are toxic throughout their existence and expose people to high levels of plastic particles

Filters, not bottles, are a sustainable and cost effective solution that provide safe drinking water without the hundreds of billions of bottles that end up in landfills or in our environment. States have an opportunity to utilize these funds for the purchase and distribution of water filters that are certified to remove lead and other water contaminants, while shifting the financial burden from individuals to the government. According to an EPA memo, filters are eligible for Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, while single-use plastic bottles are not. This is a sound policy that prioritizes community health without toxic plastic pollution.

States should utilize some of the $5.8 billion to provide filters and ensure safe water immediately while the lengthier infrastructure upgrades and replacement efforts are made. Filters, not bottles, could protect the 22 million people in the U.S. whose water is brought to the tap by toxic lead pipes, as well as other burgeoning water concerns such as microplastics and PFAS.

Take Action

Sign the petition to urge the EPA to require filter distribution to lead impacted communities and ensure access to safe water without toxic lead or plastic pollution!


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