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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.

Lead & Copper Tap Monitoring

Water Quality Parameter Monitoring

  • 6M1 2023 - Sample during January 1 through June 30, 2023
  • 6M2 2023 - Sample during July 1 through December 31, 2023
  • Annual 2023 - Sample during January 1 through December 31, 2023

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.

Table 1: Action Levels and Reduced Monitoring Levels for Lead and Copper




Action Level (AL)

0.015 mg/L

1.3 mg/L

Reduced Monitoring Level (RML)

0.005 mg/L

0.65 mg/L


Table 2: 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



10,001 to 100,000



3,301 to 10,000



501 to 3,300



101 to 500



100 or fewer



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

Lead and Copper Chain of Custody

Lead Consumer Notice

  • Community PWS: Form 20680a (English), Form 20680a-esp (Spanish): CWS to report and certify customer lead results after the PWS receives the analytical results back from the laboratory.
  • NTNC PWS: Form 20680b (English), Form 20680b-esp (Spanish): NTNC PWS to report and certify customer lead results after the PWS receives the analytical results back from the laboratory.
  • Only one LCN per MP needs to be submitted to TCEQ.

Treatment Change Notification

  • Form 20807: Notification of Treatment Start Date: PWS to report new source or new treatment in water system.

Water Quality Parameters (WQPs) under the LCR are used to determine the corrosivity of water flowing through the distribution system. All PWSs with a population of over 50,000, new PWSs of all populations, and any PWS that exceeds the action levels are required to sample for WQPs.

WQP Analytes








Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)





        *Also, an inhibitor such as orthophosphate and/or silica, if added.

Water Quality Parameter 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 people served)

Number of Sites for Initial/Routine monitoring

Number of sites for Reduced monitoring

More than 100,000



10,001 to 100,000



3,301 to 10,000



501 to 3,300



101 to 500



100 or fewer



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

For TCEQ to utilize sample analysis data, each sample must be analyzed by a National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (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.

  • 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

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. 

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).

***For a diagram depicting the timeline of these events, please continue to the Action Level Exceedance (ALE) Highway.

Lead Public Education

Lead Public Education Guidance

Treatment Recommendations and Certifications after All Action Level Exceedances

Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Resources

Lead and Copper Corrosion Bench-Scale Testing Guidance Manual : Guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health on using a desktop study to evaluate OCCT. Including situations that necessitate corrosion testing, typical corrosion testing approaches, and processes for conducting a bench-scale immersion test.

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

On December 16, 2021, EPA announced next steps to strengthen the regulatory framework 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.

CWSs and NTNCs with service lines (public or private) connected to the public water distribution system must complete a comprehensive spreadsheet inventory using form TCEQ-20943.

***For more information, please go to the TCEQ Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) webpage.

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 childcare facilities.

Helpful Links and Contact Information

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 YouTube Channel

Lead and Copper Regulations Texas Administrative Code §290.117

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