Exposure to lead can cause behavior problems and learning disabilities in young children and can also affect the health of adults.The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits lead levels in your drinking water. For more than 20 years, Tucson Water has tested for lead in water from customer’s taps at homes to ensure it meets or exceeds EPA’s criteria.
Sources of Lead and Minimizing Risks
High levels of lead and copper are not present in the groundwater or in the recharged Colorado River water that serve as our drinking water sources. The primary sources of lead in tap water are pipes and fixtures in individual homes where water can leach lead from the plumbing fixtures .
To minimize the risks of exposure to lead:
- Water temperature can affect the extent to which lead enters the water. Use water from the cold tap for making baby formula, drinking, and cooking.
- Let the water run for a minimum of 30 seconds to two minutes if it hasn’t been turned on for six or more hours.
Lead Service Lines
Since 1999, Tucson Water has had a program to identify, remove, and replace lead service lines, the pipes that deliver water to meters from the main distribution line. In 2016, we launched "Get the Lead Out," a focused program to find and replace any remaining lead service lines by the end of 2018.
Results as of January 18, 2019:
- Inspected 496 service lines in an area determined to be at risk of still having lead service lines present - click here for a map.
- Removed 142 lead service lines (126 replaced; 16 abandoned and removed).
- Identified 33 possible lead service lines along Broadway between Park Avenue and Campbell Avenue; these will be addressed during the Broadway Widening Project, slated to begin in mid-summer 2019. Tucson Water is providing lead filters and scheduling pre-replacement water samples for 22 services; the remaining 11 services are non-active.
For more information, visit this page: Tucson Water - "Get the Lead Out" Proactive Lead Service Line Removal Program
Monitoring for Lead and Copper
Tucson Water follows EPA's Lead and Copper Rule , a requirement for public drinking water systems. We monitor for lead and copper at over 100 locations on a regular basis, and report those results in our annual water quality reports.
If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. For a list of licensed labs in Arizona that can analyze your water for lead and copper, see ADHS’s Licensed Environmental Laboratories search page.
Additional Resources and Contacts
- For more information, call Tucson Water's Customer Support Unit at 520-791-2544 or send an e-mail to CustomerSupportUnit@tucsonaz.gov.
- Si desea esta informacion traducida al espanol, llame a la Division de Calidad de Agua de Tucson Water al 520-791-2544 o por correo electronico CustomerSupportUnit@tucsonaz.gov.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Basic Information About Lead In Drinking Water
- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Water Quality Division