Lead and Copper Rule

family at dinner

MAWSS cares about the health of the families in our community and wants you to know we fully comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule as directed by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).

Lead does not come from the treatment plant or water main; it comes from lead service lines running between the water main in the street and the home, and from plumbing inside the home. The use of lead and lead solder in plumbing was discontinued in 1986. However, some homes may still have lead connections or internal fixtures that contain lead. The best way to determine if you have lead pipes is to contact a plumber.

MAWSS takes steps to control water chemistry by utilizing a safe to consume, corrosion inhibitor that coats the pipes and prevents lead and copper from leaking into our drinking water. MAWSS began this program in the mid-1980s. To date, MAWSS test results are consistently below the action level established by ADEM.

ADEM requires that we annually test for lead during the warm summer months in homes built from 1981 - 1989, years when copper pipes were most likely soldered with lead. To participate in our testing, customers must be willing to pull a sample from their tap during June or July. MAWSS provides kits with bottles and instructions that specify the sample be the first cold water drawn in the morning after sitting undisturbed for at least six hours. MAWSS collects the samples and sends them to a certified independent lab to be tested. Results of testing are shared with customers. The number of participants is limited. If you live in a home built between 1981 and 1989 and would like to participate, please contact MAWSS at (251) 694-3165.

If you have lead pipes or want your water tested for lead, MAWSS encourages you to have your water tested by one of the certified labs in our area. There is a fee for the testing.

Envirochem
4320 Midmost Dr.
Mobile, AL 36609
(251) 344-9106

Test America Laboratories
900 Lakeside Dr.
Mobile, AL 36633
(251) 666-6633

Other Ways to Reduce Your Risk to Lead Exposure

  • Flush your cold water tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. Using cold water for cooking will also reduce the potential for lead exposure.
  • Purchase a point of use treatment device certified to remove lead and make sure the device is properly maintained. 
  • Avoid consuming water from the hot water tap, where lead is more likely to be present.

For more information on lead, the U.S. EPA has set up a Safe Drinking Water Hotline. Call it toll free at 1-800-426-4791. You may also visit their website at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.

 

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