April 12, 2018 - All
View Map What is this? What does it mean? This map was created in order to make localized data on lead contamination of United States public water sources available to the public. Such contamination stems from corrosion of old lead and copper plumbing fixtures that may be part of a building’s plumbing or the public water system’s service line. Contamination in a public water system may affect residents of a single building or those of an entire municipality. Ingestion of lead has been known for millennia to cause serious harm to the neurological system, even in barely detectable amounts. The human body does not have a mechanism to process lead and remove it as waste. Instead it bio-accumulates in the brain and causes permanent harm to mental faculties in proportion to the amount present in the body. For this reason, even a miniscule amount in drinking water can have serious effects over a long period of regular consumption. These effects are especially pronounced in children and can cause lifelong damage. In view of this, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that a concentration of 15 mg/L (parts-per-billion) of Lead and 1300 mg/L (parts-per-billion) of Copper be deemed an ‘action level’. Detections above this level demand that corrective action be taken in the form of water treatment, replacement of pipes, or in other forms. In addition, regular monitoring of Lead and Copper concentrations are made until the concentration of contaminants falls below the action level. On the map, public water systems are clustered in the blue circular markers with the number of markers printed in black in order to avoid visually cluttering the map. If you zoom in or click on the blue circular marker, you will be able to view individual public water systems. These are represented by color-coded faucet icons. A red faucet indicates that the public water system is out of compliance and that its highest recorded concentration of lead or copper since the system was deemed out of compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule was above the action level. A yellow faucet indicates that the public water system is out of compliance and that lead has been detected in concentrations below the action level since it was deemed out of compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule.