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This Lead is Killing Us: A History of Citizens Fighting Lead Poisoning in Their Communities : Crowd the Tap - Demos

This National Library of Medicine exhibit explores how citizens have confronted lead industries, housing authorities, and elected officials to protect their health against the dangers of lead poisoning.

About Crowd the Tap

Crowd the Tap directs the power of people to protect our tap water, as the first EPA-funded project that promotes access to safe drinking water by empowering individuals and groups to investigate the piping infrastructure that deliver drinking water to their own homes. No matter what types of pipes are in your water system (steel, copper, plastic, or lead), join Crowd the Tap to make sure your pipes get counted! 

Crowd the Tap is interested in ALL the different types of pipes delivering drinking water to taps, but more specifically lead pipes. Lead pipes are of particular interest because they are a known source of lead in tap water, which is hazardous to human health. With Crowd the Tap, water consumers identify potential risks in tap water systems and that’s a critical step in preventing lead-related illnesses.

Why are there still lead pipes? 

Although installation of lead pipes was banned in the US in 1986, and some water systems and homes have replaced lead pipes, much of the US drinking water infrastructure still contains lead pipes. In the past, assessments of national tap water infrastructure have involved researchers requesting information from water providers. These past efforts produced only a partial picture on which water systems still have lead service lines.

Crowd the tap aims to help fill in the gaps! There are currently no good estimates of how many homes have lead pipes. Crowd the Tap is unique in relying on people voluntarily sharing information on home plumbing and service lines in order to produce the first robust national inventory of water pipe materials. This inventory will allow people to identify lead pipe hot spots in the U.S., which we hope will inform lead pipe replacement projects.

Crowd the Tap Demo Dates

Not sure what type of water pipes your home has?

Join us for a 15-minute Crowd the Tap Demo

Crowd the Tap is a public science project focused on identifying and addressing lead contamination in household drinking water. Using common household items, information about the age of your home and the pipes in your home, to determine your household risk of lead contamination

Learn about a simple at-home test to identify water pipe type-
Register your home water pipe data in a national inventory
Demo Dates & Locations 
September 13th, 1-1:15pm, Communicore C1-4 (following Poisoned Water screening) 


SciStarter- Crowd The Tap- Test Resources

VIDEO TUTORIALS: Crowd the Tap - SciStarter

How to Identify Pipes 

Everyone screening their home through Crowd the Tap will need to identify what types of pipes they have. The following tutorial will show you how to do this with a penny and a magnet.


Which Pipes to Test?

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