Lead in Drinking Water

The City of Aurora's drinking water fully complies with the standards set in the Federal Lead and Copper Rule. The city Water Treatment Plant monitors the chemistry in city drinking water every day, and there is no detectable level of lead in the finished water pumped from the Water Treatment Plant.

Basic Information About Lead in Drinking Water

Lead is a common, naturally occurring metal found throughout the environment. Lead seldom occurs naturally in water supplies like rivers and lakes, and lead is rarely present in drinking water coming from a treatment plant. Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of corrosion or wearing away of materials in the water distribution system and household plumbing that contains lead.

Lead is a concern because it can cause long term effects if it builds up in the body over many years. Children are more vulnerable to lead because their bodies are smaller and because they are still developing. Pregnant women and their unborn babies are also at higher risk for negative health effects associated with lead exposure.

Where Lead is Most Common Detected

There is no detectable level of lead in the finished water pumped from the City of Aurora's Water Treatment Plant or the city's water distribution system. However, lead can dissolve into your drinking water if water sits for several hours in your plumbing fixtures or your service pipes that contain lead. Lead levels in drinking water are likely to be highest in homes with
  1. Lead service lines (pipes) connecting the water main in the street to your home
  2. Lead indoor plumbing
  3. Copper plumbing with lead solder
  4. Brass fixtures containing lead
Lead levels vary from home to home and are dependent on lead sources between the water main in the street and an individual household tap. Pipe materials vary substantially across the city, even among homes located on the same block. The concentration of lead in drinking water varies among homes within the city. Homes built prior to 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures, and solder.

Responsibilities of the City

The City is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials previously installed in plumbing components from the water main to your home. Thus, minimizing lead exposure is a shared responsibility of the City of Aurora and individual residents. It is strongly advised that drinking water customers remove any lead pipes and lead plumbing materials serving their home.

Find Out if Your Indoor Household Plumbing Contains Lead

Contact a licensed plumber to inspect your pipes. Check the lead content in brass faucets, valves, and fittings. The manufacturer should be able to provide information about the percentage of lead in your plumbing and fixtures. Almost all faucets, valves, and fittings have brass components. Until 2014, brass faucets and fittings sold in the United States and labeled "lead-free" could contain up to eight percent lead. Effective January 2014, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act specifies that these materials may not contain more than 0.25% lead.