Northeast Environmental
Testing Laboratory, Inc.
472 Smith Street,  Providence, Rhode Island  02908  (401) 454-3400
Copyright © 2008  Northeast Environmental Testing Laboratory, Inc.
Lead in Drinking Water
The US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) sets drinking water standards and has
determined that lead is a health concern at certain exposure levels.  Sources of materials
that contain lead have frequently been used in the construction of water supply
distribution systems and plumbing systems in private homes and other buildings.  The
most commonly found materials include service lines, pipes, brass and bronze fixtures,
and solders and fluxes.  Lead in these materials can contaminate drinking water as a
result of the corrosion that takes place when water comes into contact with such materials.

Lead Levels

(A) FIRST-DRAW SAMPLES (0 Flush)

(1) Lead-Free Standard.
The acceptable standard for lead in
water (standard for lead-free) shall be less than five micrograms
of lead per liter of water (5 μg/L). [5 μg/L is equivalent to five
parts per billion (5 ppb)];
(2) Lead-Safe Standard. The permissible standard for lead in
water (standard for lead-safe) shall be five (5) μg/L to less than
fifteen (15) μg/L;
(3) Flush Samples Required. Lead concentrations in water from
fifteen (15) μg/L to five hundred (500) μg/L require analysis of
flushed samples to determine the status;
(4) Significant Environmental Lead Hazard Standard. Lead
concentrations in first-draw water samples greater than five
hundred (500) μg/L are considered significant environmental lead
hazards and require lead hazard reduction in accordance with these Regulations.

(B) FLUSHED SAMPLES

(1) Lead-Safe Standard.
The permissible standard for lead in water
(standard for lead-safe) shall be less than fifteen (15) μg/L;
(2) Significant Environmental Lead Hazard Standard. Lead
concentrations in flushed water samples at fifteen (15) μg/L or
greater are considered significant environmental lead hazards and
require lead hazard reduction in accordance with these Regulations.
(C) MULTIPLE TAPS. If water samples are obtained from more
than one (1) tap, the above standards for lead in water shall be
applied separately to each tap.