Chicago’s aggressive push to metered water came to a grinding halt on 28th June 2019 after testing found spikes of brain-damaging lead in more than 1 in 5 homes sampled, following the installation of a digital water meter. The Department of Water Management’s website states that, “To protect our residents, and especially children, we are going to stop installing water meters until we identify a solution”.
Its FAQ webpage on water quality reveals that the indication is “the installation of water meters is the issue, not the replacement of water mains”. The webpage also made it clear that the new meters don’t have lead in them.
So what could possibly have gone wrong? Is it possible that pulsed radiofrequencies in proximity to legacy lead pipes, or brass fixtures containing lead, are not ideal bedmates? There is anecdotal evidence that high frequency fields produced by antennas can affect corrosion rates.