Professor Ashok Gadgil and his research team have devised a novel way to protect the millions of people who at risk from water pipes that leach lead.
The team found that when a low voltage power source, about 1V, is connected to a lead pipe filled with a harmless phosphate solution and to a conductive wire within the pipe, an insoluble lead phosphate layer rapidly forms on the inside surfaces of the pipe.
In about two hours, the power source and the wire can be disconnected and removed. The newly formed protective scale results in a 99% reduction of lead leaching rates, according to preliminary laboratory experiments performed on lead pipes without any scale.
See Get the lead out (Berkeley Engineering, 10.25.19)