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Public or private water system

Does it matter where my water comes from?

Yes. Public water supplies test their water for a number of things, including lead. However, people getting water from a private well are responsible for getting their own water tested. Your water is either from a public water supply or from a private well. If you get a bill for your water, you are on a public water supply.

Public water supplies are required to test water from some homes on their system for lead.  When at least 10 percent of tested homes on the same public water supply have lead above 15 parts per billion (ppb) in the water, the water supplier acts to lower the amount of lead in the water. This amount, 15 ppb, is called an action level. To learn more about your water, ask your water supplier for their annual water report, known as the Consumer Confidence Report. Results from lead testing are provided in that report. Recent public water supply results are also available here. If your public water supplier is not able or willing to sample your home or if you have a private well, you can still get your water tested. Contact a laboratory certified for lead analysis or request information from your local health department to learn more. 

Private wells do not have the same requirements for lead testing as public water supplies do. Parts of your well - such as the pump, pipe, or valves – may contain lead. Connecting pipe, indoor plumbing, and faucets may also contain lead. If you’re concerned about lead in your drinking water, have it tested. Call your local health department or a certified laboratory to get a test kit. You can find your health department by visiting and find certified laboratories at