Update: We need to get ALL the lead out of our drinking water

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Jenn Engstrom
State Director, CALPIRG

Author: Jenn Engstrom

State Director, CALPIRG

213-251-3680 x322

Started on staff: 2010
B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, University of California, Berkeley

Jenn directs CALPIRG’s advocacy efforts, and is a leading voice in Sacramento and across the state on protecting public health, consumer protections and defending our democracy. Jenn has served on the CALPIRG board for the past two years before stepping into her current role. Most recently, as the deputy national director for the Student PIRGs, she helped run our national effort to mobilize hundreds of thousands of students to vote. She led CALPIRG’s organizing team for years and managed our citizen outreach offices across the state, running campaigns to ban single-use plastic bags, stop the overuse of antibiotics, and go 100% renewable energy. Jenn lives in Los Angeles, where she enjoys spending time at the beach and visiting the many amazing restaurants in her city.

On Tuesday, I testified to the State Water Resources Control Board calling for actions to get toxic lead out of our drinking water system. 

Lead is highly toxic to children- even exposure to very small amounts is linked to irreversible damage to a child’s brain, and can cause IQ loss, ADHD and anxiety disorders.

Because lead is extremely harmful to public health, all lead bearing parts need to be removed from our drinking water systems. That doesn’t just mean traditional lead pipes, but any lead components like fittings as well as galvanized pipes. 

Studies have shown that galvanized pipes that have been attached to lead components become contaminated with lead and can leach lead into our drinking water.  In Fresno last year, testing revealed that the water of more than 300 residents was contaminated with lead caused by corroded galvanized pipes.  

In order to protect Californians from lead exposure, we need to get ALL the lead out of drinking water. 

The good news is that funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill provides a golden opportunity to get all the lead out of our drinking water systems and provides the resources to do it properly. That’s why we’re calling on the Water Board to take advantage of this federal funding to remove all lead components from our drinking water system. 

Jenn Engstrom
State Director, CALPIRG

Author: Jenn Engstrom

State Director, CALPIRG

213-251-3680 x322

Started on staff: 2010
B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, University of California, Berkeley

Jenn directs CALPIRG’s advocacy efforts, and is a leading voice in Sacramento and across the state on protecting public health, consumer protections and defending our democracy. Jenn has served on the CALPIRG board for the past two years before stepping into her current role. Most recently, as the deputy national director for the Student PIRGs, she helped run our national effort to mobilize hundreds of thousands of students to vote. She led CALPIRG’s organizing team for years and managed our citizen outreach offices across the state, running campaigns to ban single-use plastic bags, stop the overuse of antibiotics, and go 100% renewable energy. Jenn lives in Los Angeles, where she enjoys spending time at the beach and visiting the many amazing restaurants in her city.