Lead and Copper
Lead in Drinking Water
Lead and copper are common materials used in household plumbing. In 1986 the EPA banned the use of lead in pipes, fixtures, and lead solder. The problem is that older homes or homes with plumbing changes could still have lead pipes, fixtures, or lead solder. Lead can potentially leach into drinking water through corrosion and be very harmful if consumed, especially at high levels, and to more vulnerable consumers such as children, the elderly, and pregnant women.
Since the 1930s, copper pipes were commonly used for residential plumbing, and until the 1986 ban, lead solder, and lead connections were used widely to join copper pipes. Lead-free solder and lead-free materials are now required by federal law for use in new household plumbing and plumbing repairs.
Dissolved lead cannot be seen or tasted in drinking water. Testing by a state-approved laboratory is the only way to determine if drinking water has high levels of dissolved lead.
You can contact the Ohio Department of Health or the Munroe Falls Water Department for testing locations or further assistance if you are concerned about lead in your drinking water.
Public Water System Testing
The Ohio EPA requires all public water systems to monitor lead and copper levels. In Munroe Falls this is done by selecting a minimum of 20 residential locations and testing a sample of their tap water for lead and copper levels each year. The Ohio EPA mandates certain criteria for selecting testing locations and how and when to test. If you are interested in the results of the Munroe Falls program you can view our annual Water Quality Report, or contact the Water Department directly.
Want to Know More?
Click here for a short, educational video from AWWA (American Water Works Association) on things you can do to protect your home and family. Or, more info is available at the following links:
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Lead in Your Drinking Water
- Have your water tested. Contact your utility to learn more about lead levels, risks, and where to get your water tested. Or, contact the Ohio Health Department
- Learn if you have a lead service line. Contact the water utility or a licensed plumber to determine if the pipe that connects your home to the water main (called a service line) is made from lead.
- Run your water. Before drinking, flush the water in your home's pipes by running the tap, taking a shower, doing laundry, or doing a load of dishes especially if the water has been stagnant in the pipes for more than a few hours. The amount of time to run the water will depend on whether your home has a lead service line or not, and the length of time not in use.
- Use COLD water. Use only cold water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula. Remember, boiling water does not remove lead from water and hot water can have higher lead levels.
- Clean your aerator. Regularly clean your faucet's screen (known as an aerator). Sediment, debris, and lead particles can collect in your aerator.
- Use a water filter and maintain it. These are sometimes called a "point of use" filter or filtration system. Make sure they are certified to reduce lead exposure and check the manufacturer's instructions for proper use, maintenance, and cartridge replacement.
Lead Service Line Mapping
The Ohio EPA has implemented a requirement for all Public Water Systems to create a Lead Service Map outlining the probability of lead services in the community that may have a lead service line. In conjunction with the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP), we now have a map of all service connections in our city with the probability of having lead service lines. Without physically digging up each water service line, it is difficult to say with certainty if there is a lead service line. Unless otherwise documented, we can only predict the probability of lead service lines. It has been determined there are only a few areas that have a marginal probability of having a lead service line. We will be required to visually inspect the waterlines at all properties with a probability of having a lead service line, lead solder, or gooseneck connection.
To view the map click here
Additionally, GLCAP has produced a survey for Munroe Falls residents to determine the type of plumbing and service lines in use.
To take the online survey now click here.