Lead and Copper Rule

The purpose of the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) is to protect public health by minimizing lead and copper levels in drinking water, primarily by reducing corrosivity.  Lead and copper enter drinking water mainly from corrosion of lead and copper containing plumbing materials.  The rule establishes an action level (AL) of 0.015 milligrams per liter (mg/L) for lead and 1.3 mg/L for copper based on a 90th percentile level of tap water samples.  An action level exceedance is not a violation but triggers other requirements to minimize exposure to lead and copper in drinking water, that include water quality parameter monitoring, corrosion control treatment, source water monitoring/treatment, public education, and lead service line replacement.  All community water supplies and nontransient noncommunity water supplies are subject to the LCR requirements.

For more information on the Lead and Copper Rule, including the final rules and the Quick Reference Guide visit the Web site of the U.S. EPA at http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/lcr/index.cfm.

Preparing to conduct lead and copper tap monitoring?  These tools are for you:

  • Lead and Copper Tap Sampling Checklist in PDF.
    To avoid missing steps or deadlines, use this checklist as you prepare for and conduct lead and copper tap sampling and report results to MDEQ.

  • Sampling Instructions in Word or PDF
    Samples are collected by the resident after the water has sat undisturbed for at least six hours.  This is usually first thing in the morning or after returning from work.  Water supplies need to provide very clear instructions to residents so samples are taken correctly.  Supplies may use these instructions.

  • Lead and Copper Report and Consumer Notice of Lead and Copper Results Certificate in Word or PDF.
    This form serves two purposes:
    (1) Lead and Copper Reporting (pages 1 and 2):  Report lead and copper sampling information to the DEQ within 10 days of the end of the monitoring period.
    (2) Consumer Notice of Lead and Copper Results (pages 3 and 4):  Within 30 days of receiving the results, notify occupants of homes tested of their individual results using the template on page 4.  Certify to the DEQ that all requirements were met by completing the statement on the bottom of one example copy of a notice sent to a customer.
    Note:  Refer to instructions (pages 5 and 6) when completing the form to be sure it is completed completely and accurately.

  • Sample Site Selection Criteria in PDF.
    Review the sample site selection criteria to confirm the sites in your sampling pool still meet proper tiering criteria.

Visit Lead and Copper in Drinking Water for additional information, including:

  • General information about lead in drinking water
  • Brochures about lead in drinking water
  • Other reference materials for water supplies and the public