Statement Regarding Recent Concerns of Lead in Drinking Water
In light of the ongoing national issues related to lead in drinking water, the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department believes it is important to describe the efforts which have been undertaken to protect our customers and provide clean, safe drinking water. Since 1991, public water providers like the City of Raleigh are required by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act to monitor Tier 1 sites for lead and copper levels in the drinking water on a reoccurring schedule. Tier 1 monitoring sites are single family residences served by copper plumbing with lead solder joints installed after 1982 or any sites with lead services lines regardless of installation date. While the City is not aware of any lead service lines in the service area, there may be galvanized iron service lines with lead components in neighborhoods where the water infrastructure was installed prior to 1960.
The City of Raleigh has been, and continues to be compliant with Federal and State rules regulating lead and copper in drinking water. The most recent lead and copper distribution system sampling was performed in the summer of 2016. The next round of sampling for lead and copper is scheduled for the summer of 2019.
Wake County Environmental Services has not found lead in drinking water above Federal Action Levels within the City of Raleigh’s service area through their lead investigation program.
City of Raleigh also uses industry best practices in our water treatment processes to control leaching of lead and copper from water service lines and plumbing systems, including the addition of corrosion inhibitor products and optimization of pH in the drinking water. The City has developed and implemented a robust Asset Management Program to replace the City’s aging underground infrastructure within the service area, including the replacement of galvanized iron service lines.
While the City of Raleigh goes to great lengths to minimize and control lead exposure, the primary source of lead exposure in drinking water is associated with household plumbing with lead soldered copper pipes. Lead solder was banned for use in plumbing systems by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1986.
Customers who are uncertain about the materials in their plumbing system are encouraged to verify the date of home construction or contact a licensed plumber to make this determination.
Read more about Lead in Household Plumbing.