What is the Lead and Copper Rule?

What is the Lead and Copper Rule?

Have you heard of the Lead and Copper rule? If you're like us, and you're following water quality in the news, then you've undoubtedly seen it in some headlines. Unfortunately, this has not been for a good reason. The Environmental Protection Agency has once again delayed the revision of the Lead and Copper rule. So while we wait for the revision, which is expected in May 2018, we'd like to give a brief run-down of what this rule actually is. 

So, what is the Lead and Copper rule?

The Lead and Copper rule is a federal regulation that limits the amound of lead and copper concentrations in a customer's tap water. Easy, right? Not so much. The rule also sets a limit on the amount of corrosion that can occur due to the water quality itself. 

When was this rule issued?

The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, issued the rule in 1991. 

What are the limits for lead and copper?

Lead concentrations must not exceed an action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). Copper action levels must not move above 1.3 ppb. If action levels of either contaminant rise above these levels in more than 10% of customer's water then the system administrator must take action to control corrosion. 

Why is the rule being revised?

As plumbing infrastructure (pipes, water gates, etc) gets older so does it's corrosiveness. Therefore it is important to make updates to the allowable amount of lead and copper in a customer's tap water. The rule has not been updated for many decades now. 

For more information:

Read more about the Lead and Copper rule visit the Environmental Protection Agency webpage.

For recent news on the rule update and delays visit the Hill.