Wednesday, May 11, 2016


That such things are considered to be radical these days are a sign of the "can't do anything, don't try" times we live in.

But Madison’s response was like hitting a gnat with a sledgehammer. It was so aggressive that only one other major municipality in the United States has followed its approach so far. It’s also why some people now call Madison the anti-Flint, a place where water problems linked to the toxic substance simply couldn’t happen today.

Madison residents and businesses dug out and replaced their lead pipes — 8,000 of them. All because lead in their water had been measured at 16 parts per billion — one part per billion over the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard.

That’s a microliter, one-millionth of a liter of water. The utility’s water quality manager, Joe Grande, explains the reasoning in seven words: “The safe level of lead is zero.”

This radical plan cost about $20 million. Why you could build 1/3 of a very non-radical high school football stadium for that!