Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


Complaint Arrow Questions or Comments:
You are here: Home / Drinking Water / Chemicals / Lead and Copper

Drinking Water Lead and Copper Program

Community (CWS) and non-transient non-community (NTNC) public water systems (PWSs) are required to sample inside plumbing (kitchen sinks and restroom sinks) under the Lead and Copper Rule. This page is intended for public water systems, laboratories, and the general public. You'll find a link to Texas Drinking Water Watch, instructions, forms, and laboratory information associated with the Lead and Copper Rule.


Texas Drinking Water Watch

Use this searchable database of analytical results, schedules and violations to learn more about the quality of your drinking water and your public water system's compliance with state and federal regulations.

2015 Systems and Instructions

Public water systems scheduled to sample in 2014, required number of tap sample sites and instructions for labeling and submitting tap water samples to the laboratory:

Tap Water Lead and Copper Forms

PWSs are requires to use these forms to help them with Lead and Copper Rule Sampling. All sampling site addresses should be reviewed prior to sampling and updated if needed.

  • Form 20467 Microsoft Word Document: Sample Site Selection and Materials for sampling pool
  • Form 20697 Microsoft Word Document: Changing addresses from previously approved sampling pool
  • Form 20683 pdf.gif: The Sample Submission, accompanies sample bottles to the laboratory for analyzing.
  • Form 20680a Microsoft Word Document: Lead Consumer Notice, CWS PWS to report and certify customer lead results after the PWS receives the analytical results back from the laboratory.
  • Form 20680b Microsoft Word Document: Lead Consumer Notice, NTNC PWS to report and certify customer lead results after the PWS receives the analytical results back from the laboratory.

Forms for PWSs Exceeding Action Levels for Lead and Copper

Action levels for lead/copper are based on a 90th percentile calculation. The action level for lead is 0.015 mg/L and 1.3 mg/L for copper. If a PWS exceeds either of the action levels, the PWS is required to sample for water quality parameters, source water sampling, and tap water lead/copper sampling as part of a corrosion control study. Lead action level exceedances also requires Lead Public Education (LPE) to be delivered and posted.

  • Form 20495 Microsoft Word Document: Corrosion Control Study
  • Form 20681a Microsoft Word Document: Lead Public Education document for CWS PWSs
  • Form 20681b Microsoft Word Document: Lead Public Education document for NTNC PWS - Businesses
  • Form 20681c Microsoft Word Document: Lead Public Education document for NTNC PWS - Schools

Laboratory Information for Lead and Copper Sampling

The information provided is to assist PWSs in finding a laboratory to perform the lead and copper analysis under the TCEQ National Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP). It is also for NELAP accredited laboratories assisting PWSs with lead and copper analysis.

  • Laboratories must deliver and accept only one liter unpreserved laboratory-grade bottles. (30 TAC §290.117(h)(1))
  • PWSs sample from interior taps using cold water, first-draw samples. First-draw samples are defined as water that has been standing in the plumbing for at least six hours. It is recommended that water not be allowed to stand in plumbing for more than 18 hours prior to collecting the sample. (30 TAC §290.117(h)(1))
  • First-draw tap samples should be received at the laboratory within 14 days after collection date. (30 TAC §290.117(h)(2)(E))
  • Laboratories cannot accept bottles for analysis without TCEQ Form 20683 - Tap Sample Submission Form signed by the PWS representative. This form has the necessary information on it to determine first-draw samples and sampling sites or addresses.
  • TCEQ NELAP Accreditation Program pdf.gif: Laboratories accredited by the State of Texas under NELAP.
  • For information on acceptable sampling methods under the Lead and Copper Rule, please see Accepted Sampling Methods Exit the TCEQ
  • Electronic Sampling Requirements: Contact the for electronic sampling requirements.

Water Quality Parameter Testing

All PWSs with a population over 50,000, new PWSs, and PWSs who have exceeded the action levels are requires to sample for water quality parameters (WQP). WQPs consist of pH, alkalinity, conductivity, calcium, and an inhibitor such as orthophosphate, if added. These are sampled in the field and are analyzed at TCEQ-approved laboratories.

TCEQ approved laboratories are not necessarily the same as the TCEQ NELAP accreditied laboratories and have different approval requirements. Contact the TCEQ Laboratory Approval Coordinator for information.

  • Form 20679 doc.gif: Reporting WQP analytical and field results.

Additional Lead and Copper Rule Information

Additional information is available on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website including health effects, guidance for public water systems, and regulations.

  • Form 20507 doc.gif: Nine-year Reduced Monitoring Request/Renewal.

Lead and Copper Regulations


Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Lead and Copper Program

PO Box 13087, MC - 155

Austin, TX 78711-3087

Phone: 512-239-4691     Fax: 512-239-6050


CWS - community water system

EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

LPE - lead public education

NELAP - National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program

NTNC non-transient non-community water system

PWS - public water system

TCEQ - Texas commission on Environmental Quality

WQP - water quality parameters