An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Ground Water and Drinking Water

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Lead in Drinking Water

  • The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets and fixtures.
  • Lead pipes are more likely to be found in older cities and homes built before 1986.
  • You can’t smell or taste lead in drinking water.
  • The only way to know for certain if you have lead in your drinking water is to have your water tested.
  • Remember that older homes with a private well can also have lead in drinking water.

Steps You Can Take to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water

  • Call your water company to learn about the lead levels in your system’s drinking water.
  • Use only cold water for drinking, cooking and making baby formula.
  • Remember, boiling water does not remove lead from water.
  • Run water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before drinking it, especially if you have not used your water for a few hours.
  • Regularly clean your faucet’s screen (also known as an aerator).
  • If you use a filter certified to remove lead, don’t forget to read the directions to learn when to change the cartridge. Using a filter after it has expired can make it less effective at removing lead.
  • Determine if the pipe that connects your home to the water main (e.g. service line) is made from lead by contacting your water company.
  • You can find out who your water company is by looking at your latest water bill.

Spread the Word!

Download materials and find out how you can participate in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

For more information