This page contains links to additional information on lead, EPA resources, and D.C.-area organizations related to the issue of drinking water in the District of Columbia.
Additional Consumer Information
To find out if you have a lead service line:
If you have questions about blood lead testing:
To find out about NSF-certified plumbing and water treatment products:
To find a certified lab for water testing:
Access the listing of certified drinking water laboratories in Maryland at
Access the listing of certified drinking water laboratories in Virginia at
Point-of-use devices, such as faucet-mounted filters or filtration pitchers, must be installed, operated, and maintained according to manufacturers' instructions. Improperly maintained treatment devices can cause poor water quality. Make sure there are no plumbing components that could possibly leach lead after water is filtered through a point-of-use treatment device.
The device should be certified to remove the contaminant that you are concerned about. If you are concerned about lead, be certain that the filtration device is certified to remove lead.
What you should know about bottled water:
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.
Bottled water is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
When purchasing bottled water, look for products certified by NSF International or the International Bottled Water Association.
Links to information on water treatment devices and bottled water:
International Bottled Water Association
DC Drinking Water Compliance Information
You can obtain more information on water suppliers in the District of Columbia through EPA's Safe Drinking Water Query Form for the District of Columbia.
EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline:
DC Water Customer Service Hotline:
District of Columbia Department
of Health (DC DOH) Blood Lead Screening
EPA Information on Lead
- General information on lead in drinking water
- EPA's consumer fact sheet on lead
- Lead in drinking water facts
- Actions you can take to reduce lead in drinking water
- Lead in drinking water at schools and day care centers
- Lead and Human Health
- Technical information on EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) about health effects that may result from exposures to lead
- National Review of LCR Implementation and Drinking Water Lead Reduction Plan
- Memorandum of Understanding on Reducing Lead Levels in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities
Additional Web Resources
- Home page
- WASA's 2009 Drinking Water Quality Report [PDF, 6pp, 1.5M, about pdf]
- WASA's 2008 Drinking Water Quality Report [PDF, 6pp, 2.3M, about pdf]
- WASA's 2007 Drinking Water Quality Report [PDF, 6pp, 716k, about pdf]
- WASA's 2006 Drinking Water Quality Report [PDF, 6pp, 845k, about pdf]
- WASA's 2005 Drinking Water Quality Report [PDF, 16pp, 456K, about pdf]
- WASA’s 2004 Drinking Water Quality Report [PDF, 12pp, 1.4 M, about pdf]
- WASA's 2003 Drinking Water Quality Report [PDF, 12pp, 1.3M, about pdf]
- Home page
- 2009 Annual Report of Water Analysis [PDF, 8pp, 146K, about pdf]
- Future Treatment Alternatives Study
- Sodium Hypochlorite and Caustic Soda Project
Certified Drinking Water Laboratories
- Maryland Department of the Environment – Certification of Drinking Water Laboratories
- Virginia Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services – Laboratory Certification
- Blood Lead Levels in Residents of Homes with Elevated Lead in Tap Water -- District of Columbia, 2004 [PDF, 3 pages, 85K, About PDF]
- Notice to Readers: Examining the Effect of Previously Missing Blood Lead Surveillance Data on Results Reported in MMWR (May 21, 2010)
- CDC Lead
- Elevated Blood Lead Levels Among Young Children: Recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
- Important update: Lead-based Water Lines (January 12, 2010)
EPA's Water Health Series
Additional copies of these publications may also be ordered from EPA’s National Service Center for Environmental Publications.
Blood lead level testing fact sheet (PDF) (July 2005 - revised October 2006) [3pp, 88K, about pdf]
Note: The information presented in the fact sheet represents data from the DC Department of Health blood lead testing program as it was summarized at the original time of publication (July 2005). EPA will work with members of the Technical Expert Working Group, including the DC Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide additional information as it becomes available. Minor revisions were made to the fact sheet in October 2006; additional revisions will be made, as appropriate, as new information becomes available. Additional information on blood lead testing in the District is available from CDC's website.
Update: A recent (2009) study of blood lead levels in the District has been published in Environmental Science & Technology (vol. 43, no. 5, p. 1618) - Elevated Blood Lead in Young Children Due to Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water: Washington, DC, 2001-2004 (subscription may be required).
Update: On May 20, 2010, the House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, held a hearing which addressed concerns about the 2004 CDC report summarized in this fact sheet. The Subcommittee website provides links to the Subcommittee’s report and witness testimony. CDC has also released a reanalysis of the 2004 report, dated May 21, 2010.
Additional information: Several organizations and individuals as well as the author of the 2009 Environmental Science & Technology paper cited above have requested that CDC retract the 2004 MMWR.
Review of the Interim Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment for Washington D.C. (March 2007)
Cover page, Table of Contents, and Chapter 1 (Introduction and Background)- PDF [12pp, 112k, about pdf]
Chapter 2 (Summary of Research Relevant to the D.C. Lead Issue) - PDF [42pp, 780k, about pdf]
Note (March 2010): The Wujek (2004) paper discussed in section 2.5.3 does not mention that the post-partial replacement samples were collected during a temporary free chlorine treatment period, a treatment regime associated with lower lead levels.
Chapter 3 (Review of Relevant Water Quality Data) - PDF [55pp, 695k, about pdf]
Chapters 4 and 5 (Conclusions and Recommendations; References) - PDF [8pp, 49k, about pdf]
Appendices - PDF [96pp, 2.6M, about pdf]
Final Report: Effects of External Currents and Dissimilar Metal Contact on Corrosion from Lead Service Lines (PDF) [26pp, 899K, about pdf] (November 2006)
Note: EPA Region 3 learned in March 2008 that a statement made on page 15 of this report regarding DCWASA's use of dielectric couplers during partial lead service line replacement (PLSLR) is incorrect. DCWASA does not use dielectric couplers when performing a PLSLR.
Final Report: Evaluation of Zinc Inhibition on Nitrification and BNR (PDF) [59pp, 1.8MB, about pdf] (September 2005)
Washington Aqueduct/CH2M Hill Pipe Loop Test Plan(PDF) (August 2004) [9pp, 102k, about pdf]