In accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations, Concord Public Works tests for lead and copper on a three-year schedule. The last lead and copper sampling was performed in the summer of 2014 and will be repeated during the summer of 2017. A total of 30 homes throughout town are sampled on this schedule to confirm the effectiveness of our corrosion control efforts. If an individual home exceeds EPA action levels, we notify the residents and inform them of ways to reduce exposure to lead in their drinking water.
In 2014, Concord’s 90th percentile was 4.7 ppb for lead and 0.45 ppm for copper. The regulations require that 90% of samples taken have lead levels below 15 parts per billion (ppb) and copper 1.3 parts per million (ppm).
If samples collected exceeded the action limits stated earlier, public notification would happen in a timely manner and corrective actions would be taken immediately to remedy the situation.
- Lead and copper testing has been conducted intermittently within the Concord ’s public drinking water system since 1996 in accordance with EPA guidelines.
- At no time during this monitoring period has the reporting action level for lead or copper ever been exceeded.
- The major sources of elevated lead levels in drinking water are lead based solder used to join copper pipes, faucets and fixtures made of brass and chrome plated brass, and in some cases, pipes made of lead in a home or connecting a home to the water main (service lines).
- In 1986, pipe solder containing greater than 0.2% lead was been banned for residential plumbing purposes. At the same time, Congress put restrictions on the lead content of faucets, pipes, and other plumbing materials.
- If you suspect elevated lead levels from your drinking water, testing can be conducted to determine if lead levels are safe. Please call 978-318-3250 for more information.
The following actions can help reduce possible exposure to lead from your drinking water:
- Flush your water tap for several minutes (until it is noticeably colder) prior to drinking or cooking with your tap water. This brings in fresh water that has not been exposed to your plumbing system for an extended amount of time (sources of lead are typically in your home plumbing system). Better yet, collect a gallon of it and store it in your refrigerator for future use!
- Replace older fixtures in your home that may contain elevated levels of lead.
- Do not use your hot water tap for drinking or cooking water. This is because metals, including lead and copper, dissolve into hot water faster than cold water from your household plumbing.
- Replace lead service lines if present. Call 978-318-3250 for more information on determining if your service line is lead and what is required for replacement.
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