Minimize Your Exposure to Lead

The importance of upkeep

It is important that you prioritize the upkeep of your home's plumbing system, for depending on the age of your home, it may have lead lines, fittings, and/or fixtures.

Did you know?

  • Homes built in the mid-1950's may have galvanized iron plumbing lines (galvanized iron pipes can corrode and trap lead particles).
  • Homes built before 1986 may have lead service lines (with a few exceptions, most were installed in homes built before 1930), and those built before 1986 may have lead solder and brass fittings (which may have a lead content).
  • Water faucets installed before 2014 may contain lead.

Corrosive water can cause lead to leach from these materials, so Aquarion treats water to be non-corrosive when needed. This treatment helps to protect pipes all the way through our delivery system to your tap.

lead in your home

Corrosion Control in Water

You might be surprised to learn that water is a naturally corrosive substance.  As part of Aquarion's water treatment process we test the water, adjust for ph and add phosphate based corrosion control inhibitors where necessary.

In addition to ensuring our water remains lead-free all the way through our water mains, our treatment also helps to coat the pipes and fixtures in your home.

While the corrosion inhibitor helps to reduce the amount of lead that may leach from lead materials in your plumbing system, these steps may not be 100% effective in all cases. If you live in a house built before 1988, we urge you to have an independent testing lab check the water coming out of your taps to see if lead is present.

For more information, call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or Aquarion's Water Quality Management Department.

Look for Lead Sources in Your Home

While tests confirm that Aquarion's treatment is effective and our water is safe, when lead is found in water, it is usually leached from the home's internal plumbing. To check if your home’s plumbing is lead-free, follow these steps:

  • Hire a licensed plumber to inspect your service line and home's plumbing system.
  • Purchase a lead solder test kit at hardware and home supply stores.
  • Replace lead sources wherever possible.
  • Until you can replace sources of lead, or if it is not practical to replace sources of lead:
    • Always use cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula. Never ingest hot water from the tap.
    • Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Brass faucets, fittings, and valves may leach lead into drinking water. Products sold after Jan. 4, 2014, must by law contain very low levels of lead.
    • Periodically remove and clean the screens/aerators on your faucets. Run the water while the screens/aerators are removed to eliminate any debris.
  • Hire a licensed electrician to check your wiring. This is because your home's electrical system may be attached to your service line or elsewhere in your plumbing. If this connection is electrified, it can accelerate corrosion. DO NOT attempt to change the wiring yourself! Improper grounding can cause electrical shock and fire hazards.

This is one case where you can't rely on your senses, because lead dissolved in water cannot be tasted, seen or smelled. And don’t forget: boiling water does not remove lead.

Test Your Water

Explore the links below for a list of laboratories certified to test for lead in drinking water:

Daily Flushing

All customers should run one cold water tap for 3-5 minutes daily before using water for drinking or cooking to remove lead that may leach from your pipe solder or faucets.

Clearing Lead Using the Mini-Flush Method

The chance of lead leaching into your water is greater when the water has been standing in your home's pipes for several hours.

If your home has lead service or plumbing lines, brass fittings, lead solder, or older faucets containing lead, be on the safe side and run the water for 30 seconds to two minutes first thing in the morning and again in the evening. This will flush standing water from your plumbing system and bring in new, cool water from the water main. This is especially important if you've been away from home for several days or weeks.

To conserve water, capture and use the flushing water for laundry, cleaning, watering your plants and lawn, and washing your car—just don't drink it or use it for cooking.

How to Perform a System Flush

Maintenance work on lead service lines or on your home's plumbing system may release lead particles into your water. These particles differ from lead that may leach into the water from your plumbing system.

It is very important to do a 30-minute flush to remove any lead particles that may be in your home plumbing lines:

  1. Remove the faucet aerators from all cold-water taps and clean them.
  2. Beginning in the lowest level of your home, fully open all cold water taps in sinks, tubs, and showers.  Make sure the drains are open and clear.
  3. Run the cold water for at least 30 minutes at the last tap opened (top floor).
  4. Turn off taps, starting with the top floor.
  5. If desired, capture the flushed water and use it for laundry, cleaning, washing your car, watering your plants and lawn, or other household uses—just don't drink it or use it for cooking.
  6. Follow up with routine daily flushing by running the cold water for 3-5 minutes before using water for drinking, cooking or preparing baby formula—especially first thing in the morning and again when returning in the evening.


  • Use only cold water for cooking.
  • Boiling water does not remove lead!

In-home Water Filters

If you or your plumber discover galvanized iron or lead in your service line and/or your home's plumbing, you may wish to use an in-home water filter.

NSF, the public health and safety organization, has tested and compiled an extensive list of devices that are certified to filter for lead. The products include pour-through water pitchers, faucet-mounted filters, and whole-home filters.

Review the NSF’s list of in-home water filter recommendations.

A filter that is left in place beyond its useful life doesn't do its job, so please make sure to install a replacement filter per the manufacturer's instructions.

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