Lead in Water

Some older plumbing fixtures may contain lead or may be connected to pipes using lead solder. Over time, this lead can slowly leach into the water moving through the pipes. Lead solder is common in homes that were built or had plumbing redone between 1970 and 1985.

Testing your water for lead

You can receive a free test kit if your water comes from one of these providers:

  • Tualatin Valley Water District
  • City of Tualatin
  • Raleigh Water District
  • West Slope Water District

Request your kit:

If you do not receive water from one of the providers listed above, contact your water utility directly for information about testing.

If you are not sure who your water provider is, review this map.

 

Reduce your risk

To reduce your risk of exposure to lead from plumbing, follow these tips:

  • Flush your water. Run cold water for 30 seconds if it hasn't been used for several hours, especially for drinking and cooking water.
  • Buy low-lead fixtures. Since 2014, all pipes, fittings, fixtures and faucets must not contain more than 0.25% lead. These will often be marked “lead-free” on the package. Visit www.nsf.org for more information on low-lead plumbing fixtures.
  • Consider using a filter. Check to make sure the filter is certified to reduce lead. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions on maintaining your filter. Visit www.nsf.org for more information on water filters.
  • Clean your faucet aerator. Most faucets have an aerator that screws on to the end of the spout. Particles can build up on these tiny screens.
  • Do not boil water to try to remove lead. Boiling water does not remove lead from water.
 

Lead in plumbing at schools

Old plumbing systems in school buildings can leach lead into the water that students and school staff drink during the school day. Starting in the summer of 2016, all public school districts in Washington County are testing their water for lead.

Contact your school district to learn about their plans to test water, share results and address plumbing fixtures that may contain lead.

You can learn more about lead in plumbing at schools at the Oregon Public Health Division’s Drinking Water Program webpage.

 

Resources

Oregon Lead Line. 503-988-4000 leadline@multco.us

Environmental protection Agency – Lead in Drinking Water