Managing Lead in Drinking Water


AWWA members protect consumers against lead in drinking water. The Association continues to prepare helpful communications, technical and public policy resources. Selected resources are available from this single hub. Here you will find insights on corrosion control and other lead management issues, the latest legislative and regulatory developments, and public outreach tools to help you speak with consumers and other key stakeholders. Both resources prepared by AWWA's members and others such as the USEPA are available.

Related Resources:

Inorganic Contaminants

AWWA Comments on Lead and Copper Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of revising the Lead and Copper Rule. In March 2021, EPA extended the effective date of the proposed new rule to June 17, 2021, and solicited public comment on extending the both the effective date farther and extending the compliance date for the revised rule.

EPA’s April 5, 2021, Federal Register notice opened a new docket for the submission of stakeholder perspectives regarding the LCR Revisions.  

Read AWWA's latest comments on the proposed revisions to the lead and copper rule submitted to EPA.


Why is Lead Service Line Replacement Important?

Even if your community has a water system with effective corrosion control and low drinking water lead levels, LSLs, the final link in the water infrastructure network that delivers water to your home, can contribute unpredictable and variable sources of exposure. For homes with LSLs, the service line typically contributes the greatest percentage of lead to the tap. With the reduction of lead in new plumbing material, the next large opportunity for reducing the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water is the removal of LSLs.

Lead Service Line Collaborative

Communicating about Lead

Frequent and transparent communication is key to keeping our communities safe from lead in pipes and plumbing. A package of lead communication resources from AWWA can help utilities communicate with confidence by providing adaptable outreach documents, samples from colleagues across North America and off-the-shelf AWWA tools.

Access Lead Service Communication Tools

Scope of Lead Service Line Issue

In 2016, two AWWA-sponsored surveys of US community water systems (CWSs) were conducted to gather information on lead‐containing service lines (LSLs) in different regions of the United States for different sizes (population ranges) of water systems. The major objective of this research was to estimate the number of water systems with LSLs and the approximate number of LSLs nationwide and by region. 

The survey results indicated:  

  • a national estimate of 6.1 million LSLs (either full or partial) currently present in CWSs of the United States, 
  • approximately 11,200 CWSs currently have LSLs 
  • 15 to 22 million people served by CWSs are estimated to have either a full or partial LSL serving their home out of a total population served by CWSs of about 293 million (7%); and approximately 30% of the CWSs surveyed (national average) reported having some LSLs in their system.

Water Quality and Technology Conference

Water professionals around the world attend the Water Quality Technology Conference & Exposition, the event of the year for providing answers to improve water quality in a continually changing environment. Plan now to attend this important event featuring an unparalleled technical program, extensive networking opportunities, and the latest innovations in water quality technology and services.


AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition 

AWWA's Annual Conference and Exposition is where the most current industry topics, issues, and trends will be discussed. The professional program features subject matter experts covering a range of key water topics to address your challenges.

AWWA Policy Statements

AWWA's policy statements are brief statements on protecting and improving water supply, water quality, management, and the interests of the public and the environment. They are written by consensus, subject to review and comment by AWWA committees, councils, and members. Because they represent AWWA's position on these matters, they are approved by the AWWA Executive Committee of the board of directors.

  • Managing Lead in Drinking Water
  • Lead service lines are a large potential source of lead in drinking water. The Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative provides an introduction to building a community-based approach to lead service replacement. Replacing lead service lines completely will require a shared effort with customers, local government leaders, and numerous other local agencies.

AWWA members are recognized globally for their industry expertise and their generosity in sharing that expertise for a better world through better water. AWWA members participate in committee activities, developing conference programs, writing technical manuals, developing standards, creating educational content and contributing to AWWA publications. Committee members primarily interact through conference calls, emails, and face to face meetings at conferences and events. More information on volunteering for an AWWA committee.

The following committees are active in addressing lead issues:


Didn't find what you are looking for? Please contact us at research@awwa.org