Lead

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 EPA are available. 

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Essential resources

Public Communication

Lead Service Lines

Lead

Corrosion Control

Lead-Free Plumbing

Lead Control in Schools

Publications

Lead Communications

AWWA's lead communications package helps utilities communicate with confidence by providing adaptable outreach documents, samples from colleagues across North America and off-the-shelf AWWA tools. 

Find all the latest info.


News

Canada tightens lead level guideline

Health Canada has updated its drinking water guidelines to reduce the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) for lead at the tap from 0.01 mg/L to 0.005 mg/L. In explaining the applications of the new guideline, Health Canada states:

The MAC for lead is established based on feasibility rather than only health protection. This is because lead is introduced in drinking water in the distribution and plumbing systems, after the treated water leaves the treatment plant. As current science cannot identify a level under which lead is no longer associated with adverse health effects, lead concentrations in drinking water should be kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Since formula reconstituted with tap water can represent a major source of exposure to lead in infants, alternate sources should be used if the tap water contains lead.

EPA proposes lead-free rule

The US Environmental Protection in January 2017 proposed a regulation for Implementing Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, entitled "Use of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder and Flux for Drinking Water.” The rule would modify the definition of lead free plumbing products (e.g., pipes, fittings and fixtures) to conform to the statute enacted by Congress that prohibits a lead content level above 0.25%. Read more about the rulemaking.


Lead Service Line Replacement

First edition Standard on Replacement and Flushing of LSLs published

ANSI/AWWA C810-17 REPLACEMENT AND FLUSHING OF LEAD SERVICE LINES describes essential procedures for the replacement of lead water service lines and flushing following replacement. This standard also describes procedures for partial replacement and repair situations where complete lead service line replacement is not possible or practical. Read the press release.


Collaborative releases online tookit

The Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative, a diverse coalition of 23 water utility, public health, environmental, labor, consumer, housing, and state and local governmental organizations – including AWWA – has released an online toolkit designed to help communities across the United States accelerate removal of lead service lines. The group’s toolkit includes information to assist local community efforts to remove lead service lines, including the portion of lead services on private property.


Vital tips from leading utility managers

More than 100 water utility leaders from throughout the United States and Canada gathered in 2016 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to share strategies for removing the lead service lines that connect millions of older homes to water mains. Hosted by AWWA, the event took place during Drinking Water Week, an annual observance focusing on water quality and supply issues. Water leaders discussed how a collaborative approach among utilities, customers, government and other stakeholders is key to replacement plans. Critical issues were addressed including affordability for low-income customers.

Introductory Presentations from Expert Panelists:

 

View videos by each presenter:

Articles

Browse or search for these and other articles in Journal AWWAand Opflow at the Wiley Online Library

 

  • Journal AWWA: A Progress Report on Efforts to Address Lead by Public School Districts (March 2018)
  • Opflow: Identify Lead Plumbing Sources to Protect Public Health (March 2018)
  • Opflow: Fine-Tune System Operations for Lead and Copper Rule Compliance (February 2018)
  • Opflow: Manage Water Quality to Control Lead in Drinking Water (January 2018)
  • Opflow: Lead in Drinking Water: Past, Present, and Future (December 2017)
  • Journal AWWA: Scale Formation Under Blended Phosphate Treatment for a Utility With Lead Pipes (November 2017)
  • Opflow: Evaluate Lead Service Line Lining and Coating Technologies (October 2017)
  • Journal AWWA: Lead Water Service Lines: Extensive Sampling and Field Protocol Protect Public Health (January 2017)
  • Journal AWWA: Monitoring-Based Framework to Detect and Manage Lead Water Service Lines (November 2016)
  • Opflow: Customer Service Drives Quest for a Lead-Safe City (September 2016)
  • Journal AWWA: Quantifying Lead-Leaching Potential From Plumbing Exposed to Aggressive Waters (September 2016)
  • Opflow: Utility Adopts a Complete Lead Service Line Replacement Strategy (August 2016)
  • Opflow: Get the Lead Out! (July 2016)
  • Journal AWWA: Typical Kitchen Faucet-Use Flow Rates: Implications for Lead Concentration Sampling (July 2016)
  • Journal AWWA: Why Flint Matters (July 2016) 
  • Journal AWWA: Roundtable - The Flint Crisis (July 2016)
  • Journal AWWA: Editorial by CEO David LaFance: Restoring Faith (April 2016)
  • Journal AWWA: National Survey of Lead Service Line Occurrence (April 2016)
  • Journal AWWA: Copper Corrosion Under the Lead and Copper Rule Long-Term Revisions (April 2016)

AWWA Press Releases

  • AWWA Press Release: AWWA's whiteboard animation helps households protect against lead in drinking water (March 4, 2019)
  • AWWA Press Release: AWWA encourages households to identify, eliminate lead pipes, plumbing (May 10, 2018)
  • AWWA Press Release: AWWA: Revised Lead and Copper Rule should advance removal of lead pipes, corrosion control, transparency (March 8, 2018)
  • AWWA Press Release: AWWA's new Standard assists communities in removing lead service lines (Nov. 21, 2017)
  • AWWA Press Release: AWWA encourages getting the lead out during Drinking Water Week
    (May 9, 2017)
  • AWWA OpEd by CEO David LaFrance: Together we can get the lead out (March 11, 2016)
  • AWWA Press Release: AWWA Board supports recommendation for complete removal of lead service lines (March 8, 2016)
  • AWWA News: Flint lead situation triggers congressional action (Feb. 2, 2016)

Connections Reports

Other Statements

EDUCATION