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Drinking Water Lead and Copper Program

The purpose of the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) is to protect public health by minimizing lead and copper levels in drinking water, primarily by reducing corrosivity. Lead and copper enter drinking water Primarily from plumbing materials. The rule establishes an action level (AL) of 0.015 milligrams per liter (mg/L) for lead and 1.3 mg/L for copper based on 90th percentile level of tap water samples. An action level exceedance is not a violation but triggers other requirements to minimize exposure to lead and copper in drinking water, that include water quality parameter monitoring, corrosion control treatment, source water monitoring/treatment, public education, and lead service line replacement. All community water systems and non-transient non-community water systems are subject to the LCR requirements. This page is intended for public water systems, laboratories, and the general public. You'll find a link to Texas Drinking Water Watch (DWW), instructions, guidance, forms, and laboratory information associated with the LCR.

New InformationNew EPA Guidance

The EPA has recently published a memo to provide recommendations on how public water systems should address the removal of cleaning aerators, pre-stagnation flushing, and bottle configuration for the purpose of 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.

2016 Systems

All community and non-transient non-community water systems are subject to LCR monitoring requirements. A list of PWS's scheduled to sample during the 6M1, 6M2, and reduced 2016 monitoring periods including the number of tap sample sites.

Sampling Instructions and Guidance

New InformationThe Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is including Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sampling guidance along with PWS instructions and homeowner instructions. The PWS recommendations and guidance are to assist you in your sampling events and include the removal and cleaning of aerators, pre-stagnation flushing, and bottle configuration.

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 wide mouth laboratory-grade bottles. (30 TAC §290.117(h)(1))
  • First-draw tap samples should be received at the laboratory within 14 days after collection date so laboratories can preserve the samples. (30 TAC §290.117(h)(2)(E))
  • Laboratories cannot accept bottles for analysis without TCEQ Form 20683 - LCR Chain of Custody completely filled out and signed by the PWS representative. This form has the necessary information on it to determine first-draw samples and sampling sites or addresses.

How Many Samples Are Required and When

System Size

 (number of people served)

Number of sites for

 Intial/Routine monitoring

Number of sites for Reduced monitoring:

1YR, 3YR, or 9YR

More than 100,000 100 50
10,001 to 100,000 60 30
3,301 to 10,000 40 20
501 to 3,300 20 10
101 to 500 10 5
100 or fewer 5 5

Initial Sampling: Systems must complete two (2) rounds of consecutive six month sampling.  The monitoring periods for collection are:

6M1: Jan 1 - June 30, analytical results are due to TCEQ no later than July 10

6M2: July 1 - Dec 31, analytical results are due to TCEQ no later than Jan 10

Reduced Sampling: Systems that have completed their two rounds of initial sampling can be reduced to 1 year or 3 year sampling based on their 90th percentile lead and copper sampling during their initial sampling period.  Reduced monitoring has a second requirement of a seasonal sampling period:

Reduced: Jun 1 - Sept 30, analytical results are due to TCEQ no later than Oct 10

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 20467pdf.gif : Sample Site Selection and Materials for sampling pool
  • Form 20697 doc.gif: Changing addresses from previously approved sampling pool
  • Form 20683pdf.gif : LCR Chain of Custody, accompanies sample bottles to the laboratory for analyzing.
  • Form 20680apdf.gif : Lead Consumer Notice, CWS PWS to report and certify customer lead results after the PWS receives the analytical results back from the laboratory.
  • Form 20680bpdf.gif : Lead Consumer Notice, NTNC PWS to report and certify customer lead results after the PWS receives the analytical results back from the laboratory.

LCR Action Level Exceedance

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 entry point and within their distribution system for water quality parameters, entry point lead and copper 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.

Water Quality Parameter Sampling

Water Quality Parameters under the LCR are used to determine the corrosivity of the water flowing through the distribution system.  All PWSs with a population over 50,000, new PWSs of all populations and any PWS who have exceeded the action levels are required to sample for water quality parameters (WQP). WQPs consist of pH, alkalinity, temperature, conductivity, calcium, and an inhibitor such as orthophosphate, if added.

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.
  • TCEQ Approved Laboraties

Laboratory Information

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

Contacts

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

Acronyms

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

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