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Drinking Water Lead and Copper Program

The Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) protects public health by minimizing lead and copper levels in drinking water, primarily by reducing corrosion of plumbing materials. This rule applies to all community water systems and non-transient non-community water systems. On this page, find a link to Texas Drinking Water Watch, instructions, guidance, forms and information for public water systems, laboratories, and the general public.

Texas Drinking Water Watch

Texas Drinking Water Watch holds the information we have for your public water system and is open to he public. Use this database to view sample results, schedules, violations, and public notice due dates. 

2021 Sample Schedules

Lead Copper Tap Monitoring

All community (CWS) and non-transient non-community (NTNC) public water systems are subject to LCR monitoring requirements. Below are systems scheduled to monitor during the 6M1, and reduced 2021 monitoring periods including the number of required tap samples.

Water Quality Parameter Monitoring

A community and non-transient non-community water system may be subject to additional water quality parameter (WQP) monitoring requirements. Below are systems scheduled to monitor during the 6M1, and annual 2021 monitoring periods including the number of samples at each scheduled facility ID.

2022 Sample Schedules

Coming Soon!

Lead and Copper Tap Sampling

Tap Sampling Instructions and Guidance

The information below includes the 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 below 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.

Tap Sampling Requirements

Table 1: Number of Tap Samples Required for Initial/Routine and Reduced Monitoring based on population served. 

System Size

 (number of people served)

Number of Sites for

 Initial/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

Lead and Copper Tap Sampling Forms

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

Sample Site Selection and Materials Survey

TCEQ encourages public water systems to make any information available to the public regarding the location of lead plumbing, fixtures, and/or pipes including lead service lines. Methods to make this material publicly available include posting maps or other locational information on your system’s website, and adding into your Consumer Confidence Reports, Lead Consumer Notices, and Lead Public Education documents as applicable. TCEQ also encourages that the information be made available to your customers upon request.

Lead and Copper Chain of Custody

Lead Consumer Notice

  • Community PWS: application/pdfForm 20680a (English) , application/pdfForm 20680a-esp (Spanish): CWS PWS to report and certify customer lead results after the PWS receives the analytical results back from the laboratory.
  • NTNC PWS: application/pdfForm 20680b (English), application/pdfForm 20680b-esp (Spanish): Lead Consumer Notice, NTNC PWS to report and certify customer lead results after the PWS receives the analytical results back from the laboratory. 

Treatment Change Notification

  • application/pdfForm 20807: Notification of Treatment Start Date 

Water Quality Parameter Sampling

Water Quality Parameter Sampling Instructions and Guidance

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, chloride, iron, manganese, sodium, sulfate, total dissolved solids, hardness and an inhibitor such as orthophosphate, if added.

Water Quality Sampling Requirements

Table 2: Number of Water Quality Parameter Samples Required for Initial/Routine and Reduced Monitoring based on population served. 

System Size

 

Number of sites for

 Initial/Routine monitoring

Number of sites for Reduced monitoring:

 

More than 100,000 25 10
10,001 to 100,000 10 7
3,301 to 10,000 3 3
501 to 3,300 2 2
101 to 500 1 1
100 or fewer 1 1

The number of samples listed above are sampled quarterly - twice within a six-month monitoring period.

Laboratory Information and Approved/Accepted Sampling Methods

For TCEQ to utilize sample analysis data, each sample must be analyzed by a NELAP Accredited laboratory or a TCEQ approved laboratory utilizing approved/accepted sampling methods and adhering to the Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) Program Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP).

Lead and Copper Tap Sampling

Lead and copper samples must be analyzed by a laboratory that is NELAP accredited in the "Drinking Water" matrix using an EPA approved drinking water analysis method.

Water Quality Parameter Sampling

Water quality parameter samples must be analyzed by a laboratory that is NELAP accredited in the "Drinking Water" matrix or a TCEQ approved laboratory using acceptable drinking water sampling methods.

  • Approved Public Water System Drinking Water Labs: Each public water system that analyzes one or more water quality parameters in house is considered to be a laboratory and needs to be approved. To become a PWS Drinking Water Approved Lab submit a copy of your Drinking Water Laboratory Approval Form to the TCEQ WSD Laboratory approval coordinator.
  • Please note that Initial and routine WQP samples, including field measurements for pH and temperature, must be collected in the presence of an individual holding a valid water operator's license.

Texas Drinking water Public Laboratories Maps

    Texas Drinking Water Public Laboratories Maps: TCEQ has developed the following maps to help you locate NELAP accredited public laboratories across the state of Texas that offer lead and copper or water quality parameter testing. Use the maps below to find a laboratory near you and their contact information. Always call laboratories to confirm their address, sample drop off hours, and prices.

    Lead and Copper Action Level Exceedances

    Action levels for lead and 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, it is required to conduct entry point and distribution water quality parameter sampling, entry point lead and copper sampling, and tap water lead and copper sampling. The PWS uses the sample results to submit a source water treatment recommendation, an optimal corrosion control treatment designation, and a corrosion control study. Lead action level exceedances also require delivery and posting of Lead Public Education (LPE).

    Lead Public Education

    Lead Public Education Guidance

    Treatment Recommendations and Certifications after All Action Level Exceedances

    Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Resources

    EPA Lead and Copper Rule Revisions and Improvements

    On December 16, 2021, EPA announced next steps to strengthen the regulatory frameworkExit the TCEQ on lead in drinking water. Following the agency’s review of the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) under Executive Order 13990, EPA has concluded that there are significant opportunities to improve the rule to support the overarching goal of proactively removing lead service lines and more equitably protecting public health.

    In a Federal Register Notice, EPA announced that the LCRR will go into effect to support near-term development of actions to reduce lead in drinking water. At the same time, EPA will develop a new proposed rulemaking to strengthen key elements of the rule. The agency anticipates finalizing the forthcoming Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI) prior to October 16, 2024, the initial compliance date in the LCRR. 

    Voluntary Lead Testing in School and Child Care Drinking Water

    TCEQ is offering a free statewide program to help eligible participants conduct voluntary sampling and analysis for lead in drinking water at their schools and child care facilities.

    Helpful Links and Contact Information

    PWSLCR@tceq.texas.gov

    TCEQ, Lead and Copper Program
    P. O. Box 13087,MC-155
    Austin, TX 78711-3087
    Phone (512) 239-4691 Fax (512) 239-6050

    Lead and Copper Regulations Texas Administrative Code §290.117Exit the TCEQ

    TCEQ's Financial, Managerial, and Technical (FMT) Assistance program offers free financial, managerial, and technical assistance to help public water and wastewater systems comply with regulations.

    TCEQ's Public Notice Language for Drinking Water Compliance