Lead and Copper Rule

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recognizes the dangers lead poses in the drinking water. In 1991, the USEPA issued the Lead & Copper Rule mandating water systems adjust their water chemistry to control corrosion, and, therefore, limit lead leaching into the water.

GCWW has been in compliance with the USEPA Lead and Copper Rule, and any revisions, since it was established in 1991 to provide regulations related to the control of lead and copper in drinking water. As required, GCWW treats the drinking water specifically to minimize the amount of lead that may leach into the drinking water and undergoes a testing program to ensure the treatment is effective. This treatment process is called lead corrosion control. Monitoring has shown that the program is effective in minimizing city lead levels in home tap water.

  • Specifically, the lead corrosion control treatment consists of:
  • Adding lime and sodium hydroxide to the water to increase the water’s pH levels so the water is minimally corrosive to lead
  • Adding chlorine disinfectant to provide protection
  • Adjusting these two water chemistry changes to work together to form a protective film covering surfaces containing lead
  • Minimizing lead that can enter the water with this film
  • Monitoring by of GCWW the effectiveness of this strategy as per the regulation

The majority of water systems in the U.S. have installed corrosion control systems. However, the USEPA has seen sources of lead still existing in water systems. As long as these sources exist, there is a “risk” from lead, presenting a potential danger; therefore, removing the sources (lead service lines) from service permanently reduces the risk of lead exposure.


General FAQs

What sources of lead exist in the environment?

Are there health effects caused by lead?

How does lead enter my drinking water?

What are the current regulations on lead regarding drinking water?

What is GCWW doing to prevent lead from entering my drinking water?

What initiatives are in place to increase public education and awareness?

What other actions can customers take in their homes to reduce/remove the potential risks of lead in water?