Lead in Water
National Focus on Reducing Lead in Drinking Water
- Because twenty percent of the average American's exposure to lead is through drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated the Lead and Copper in Drinking Water Rule.
- To meet this federal requirement, Aspen began monitoring lead and copper levels at a number of residences beginning in 1992.
- Metals such as lead and copper are introduced into drinking water mainly from home plumbing where copper pipes and lead solder are commonly found.
- Aspen's most recent Water Consumer Confidence Report provides required monitoring and consumer confidence information.
- For lead and copper testing, the city samples 30 homes every year. Samples are collected at the tap, after water has been in contact with the in-house plumbing overnight. The "first flush" sample is intended to capture worst-case metal levels.
- Lead and copper levels from the city's testing have been below the regulatory action level. The regulatory lead and copper action levels are 0.015 and 1.3 parts per million (ppm), respectively.
- The city's 2020 results from lead and copper testing did not exceed any regulatory action levels requiring changes to treatment techniques.
- Along with annual testing, the city does material evaluations and reviews building records to help further reduce lead and copper in drinking water.
- Aspen's water comes from mountain streams originating in designated wilderness areas of the White River National Forest. The water processed by Aspen's two water treatment plants is free of lead and copper. Metals such as lead and copper are introduced into drinking water mainly from copper pipes and lead solder in home plumbing.
- In 1986 the EPA banned lead solder in all new home plumbing. Since it has been determined that most lead is leached from solder within five years, the systems identified by EPA to be at risk are those built between 1982 and 1987. Therefore, only the Aspen sites built or having plumbing changes within this time span are chosen for the monitoring program.