The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic has released its new report, “Detecting Lead In Household Tap Water: Sampling Procedures for Water Utilities,” which makes recommendations for how water utilities should sample household tap water to monitor the level of lead in their customers’ drinking water. The paper primarily focuses on sampling carried out by utilities for purposes of Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) compliance.
The details of when and how utilities collect water samples can dramatically influence the levels of lead that those samples contain. Some sampling methods risk significantly underestimating the lead levels to which customers may be exposed.
The Clinic provides a series of recommendations covering all stages of the sampling process, including ensuring that sampling sites represent at-risk homes; determining the best time of year for sampling; instituting a minimum nine-hour stagnation period; instructing residents not to remove aerators and to use high flow rate when collecting samples; and collecting additional and sequential samples.
The paper was authored by Clinic student Joshua Kestin, JD ’18 and Deputy Director Shaun Goho.