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This study utilises a range of scientific approaches, including lead isotopic compositions, to differentiate unknown sources of ongoing lead contamination of a drinking water supply in north-eastern Tasmania, Australia. Drinking water lead concentrations are elevated above the Australian Drinking Water Guideline (10 μg/L), reaching 540 μg/L in the supply network. Water lead isotopic compositions from the town of Pioneer (208Pb/207Pb 2.406, 206Pb/207Pb 1.144 to 208Pb/207Pb 2.360, 206Pb/207Pb 1.094) and Ringarooma (208Pb/207Pb 2.398, 206Pb/207Pb 1.117) are markedly different from the local bedrock (208Pb/207Pb 2.496, 206Pb/207Pb 1.237). The data show that the lead in the local waters is sourced from a combination of dilapidated drinking water infrastructure, including lead jointed pipelines, end-of-life polyvinyl chloride pipes and household plumbing. Drinking water is being inadvertently contaminated by aging infrastructure, and it is an issue that warrants investigation to limit the burden of disease from lead exposure.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Environmental Science and Pollution Research|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Aug 2015|
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