We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
With each monthly bill, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) sends out its “What’s on Tap” newsletter, which includes a regular list of water-conservation tips. One of February’s tips reads, “Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap for cold drinks.” No doubt it’s sound environmental advice, but in the wake of WASA’s lead woes, it’s confusing: WASA officials have encouraged customers with elevated lead levels to run the tap for half a minute, until the water gets cold, before drawing drinking water. Johnnie Hemphill, interim director of public affairs for WASA, says running the tap doesn’t have to mean sending water down the drain; he instead suggests drawing water for drinking or cooking after, for example, taking a shower. “You might fill a jug before you go to bed, and the water’s been running all day,” he suggests. —Mike DeBonis