Mass Transfer of Lead into Residential Drinking Water – The Flint Crisis of 2014

Analyze the problem of lead leaching from pipes carrying water to residential customers. A now infamous case involves the city of Flint MI that switched its water source from a Detroit lake to the Flint river and knowingly neglected treatment that would be required for this source change. The pH and alkalinity change to the Flint river was known to increase the leaching of lead from the aging residential utility water pipes. For more background see: Many utility pipes today still contain significant amounts of lead that could cause individual harm without mitigation strategies. The Flint river case highlights the need to utilize our engineering methods and problem-solving skills to make informed judgements recognizing our ethical and professional responsibilities and considering the impact of our analysis in a global, economic, environmental and societal context
Following the 8-step method, derive all necessary equations to analyze the problem of dissolution of a harmful chemical A from the walls of a pipe into the fluid B (water). Assume that the equilibrium distribution coefficient or equilibrium solubility of A between the solid pipe and water interface is known. Note that this is the thermodynamic partitioning of A which sets the stage for mass transfer.
The biggest part of this problem will be Step 8 where you are to estimate the concentration of lead at various distances along the pipe using average parameters from residential water delivery systems. The following paper by Drs. Marc Edwards and Laurie McNeill at our sister institution VT gives the approximate solubility of lead for residential pipes into water as:
Untreated Water: ~5 mg/L
Treated Water: ~0.5 mg/L
Please answer the following questions
How do your results compare to the maximum Federal levels of lead in residential drinking water at 15 parts per billion (ppb)?
Show a plot of bulk concentration of lead with pipe distance.

Part 8b (35 points)
What other chemical, physical, or biological aspects are important in the supply of drinking water? Specifically, identify seven possible contaminants. List the Federal Law limits for these contaminants in drinking water.
What is meant by an LD50 value in toxicology? Give the LD50 values of your listed contaminants.
Create and excel or equivalent table for your selections.
Cite only scholarly web resources.

Sample Solution

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