Keeping Your Drinking Water Safe

Resources to help customers understand the risk of lead exposure through tap water.

NEW: Download results from our May water testing with results reported in June 2016!

Where does lead in drinking water come from? 

The drinking water from LCA’s water sources (creeks, spring and wells) is lead free! However, if buildings have water pipes made of lead or plumbing containing lead, there is a risk for having lead get into the water. This is important for customers to understand, because customers must be engaged in solutions to reduce the risk of lead exposure!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The risk of lead exposure will vary from home-to-home. In some homes, the risk may be from lead-based paint. This continues to be the primary area of concern by public health agencies and the Centers for Disease ControlDownload LCA Fact Sheet # 1: About Lead in Drinking Water

Exposure to lead through water is controlled by LCA’s efforts to ensure our water does not contain corrosive properties that will contribute to lead leaching from the pipes it travels through to get to your tap. Download LCA Fact Sheet # 2: How to Check Your Home for Lead Pipes

If you have a lead service line, lead plumbing, brass fixtures, copper plumbing with lead solder, a water softener, or other treatments system, these are all potential sources of lead exposure to your tap water. Download LCA Fact Sheet # 3: Easy Ways to Reduce Lead Exposure: Rinse Your Pipes & Clean Your Aerators!

LCA Water Testing

Currently, LCA tests for lead in tap water every three years at 50 representative taps of vulnerable homes in the City of Allentown, and at more than 150 homes across all of our service areas in Lehigh and Northampton counties. We do this according to the requirement of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule. The testing results are used to determine if our water continues to be non-corrosive, so that water has minimum potential for lead to leach from plumbing materials. So far, our test results show that the non-corrosive properties of LCA’s water is working to keep lead levels to a minimum.

Click here to view test results and a comparison to lead levels in the water in Flint, MI

 

Get Your Water Tested!

LCA Fact Sheet # 4: Getting Your Water Tested

LCA is pleased to offer water testing to any customer who wishes to participate in the program, for a nominal fee of $30. This fee covers our actual lab cost to do the test, plus a minor charge for administrative processing time.

IMPORTANT: We are offering water testing in May 2016, followed by a four-month break, and then the program will resume again in October 2016. This schedule is due to a backlog of work at all certified laboratories in Pennsylvania from June to September! If you would like to get a water test done in May, please contact us soon so we can get it scheduled!

How it works:

Contact the lead testing program administrator by using our online contact form, or by phone at 610-398-2503, ext. 167. Ask about lead testing and you will be directed to the right person!

Be prepared to share some basic contact information and property information. We will also ask you to tell us more about your interior plumbing such as your incoming water pipe material, any water softener or other treatment system you may have in place, whether you have copper plumbing with lead solder, and the year your home was built. This information will help us to interpret the test results we get from the lab!

After we gather this basic information, we will schedule a time for you to pick up a sample container and instructions. It is important that you follow the instructions carefully to ensure a “first draw” sample is obtained. A “first draw” sample is a 1 liter sample of water that has been sitting in your pipes for at least 6 hours – increasing the possible exposure to lead in your plumbing.

You will drop off your water sample according to the instructions we provide to you, and we’ll take care of the rest. 

Pick-Up / Drop-Off Locations:

Customers can visit us at whichever location is most convenient:

LCA Main Office: 1053 Spruce Road, Wescosville

LCA Water Plant: 1300 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Allentown

Getting your results:

Our lab will conduct the test and report back to LCA, and then we will send you the results and share some additional information about what we found. You should receive your results within 30 days of dropping off your sample to us. If your water test results show elevated lead levels, we will share some additional information with you about what you can do to further investigate the issue, or options to reduce the risk of lead exposure.

 

Other Resource:

Advice from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about lead in drinking water

EPA Reference Guide on the Lead & Copper Rule for Water Utilities

4/25/16 – Comprehensive Review of Lead Isses & LCA’s Next Steps

4/13/16 – LCA Presentation to Lehigh County Commissioners

2/3/16 – LCA Press Release on Lead Exposure in Allentown