Under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) , which sets special health-based drinking water standards for lead and copper called Action Levels. Tucson Water is regulated by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) which oversees the implementation and enforcement of the LCR in Arizona. Tucson Water must ensure that the levels for these metals are not exceeded in more than 10 percent of the homes sampled. The value that is used to determine compliance with the Action Levels is called the 90th percentile.
Tucson Water's Water Quality Management Division monitors and reports the lead and copper result to ADEQ to meet the requirements of the LCR . Over many years, lead service lines in our distribution system have been replaced to reduce the risks of exposure to lead in drinking water. High levels of lead and copper are not present in the groundwater and in the recharged Colorado River water that serve as our drinking water sources. Most lead and copper in our system comes from lead-containing solder in older plumbing or from faucets or other water fixtures in homes and businesses.
The LCR requires that the lead and copper samples be collected from household taps used for drinking water. The EPA has asked that water systems increase transparency in implementation of the LCR and post compliance sampling results collected by the system. Click here to view Tucson Water's Lead and Copper Data .
Since January 2014, Tucson Water's Maintenance Division has investigated 42 possible locations of lead services: 12 lead service locations have been replaced, 6 sites are under investigation for potential removal, and the remaining sites were abandoned, not locatable, or confirmed to have copper or HDPE pipes. The six service locations under investigation for removal of lead lines or fittings are located at the following addresses:
Church and Pennington
6th Ave and Pennington
Main Ave and Paseo Redondo
Pennington and Toole Ave
Arroyo Chico and Country Club
1st Ave and Pastime
When a lead service line or fitting is scheduled to be replaced, staff from Tucson Water's Maintenance Division will notify the customer of the date scheduled for the maintenance work. Before that date, staff from Tucson Water's Water Quality Lab will drop off instructions to the customer on how to collect a pre-maintenance sample. When the replacement is completed, staff will flush the line and the Lab will drop off a second bottle for the collection of the "post-maintenance" sample. The Lab will test the water free of charge. The sample results will be used to check that lead and copper are not detected. The results will be mailed to the customer.