It is argued that the water distribution system will be a key public health battlefield of the 21st century. Corrosion in private plumbing is deserving of special attention, since the health and economic impacts are probably of equal or greater magnitude compared to public systems, and there has not been an advocate working on behalf of the consumer to solve these problems. To better serve society in this endeavour we will need educational programs, aggressive research to minimize the unsustainable costs of corrosion, and to consider our legacy to future generations when making decisions on materials use.

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