Is there lead in my water?

The US EPA sets limits for lead levels in drinking water. When water leaves the Sheboygan water treatment plant, it does not have measurable levels of lead in it. However, most homes constructed prior to the 1950’s have a lead water lateral leading from the public water main into the home. If water sits in a lead water lateral for a period of time, it can dissolve some of the lead. Solder used in plumbing prior to the 1980’s also had lead, which can also be a contributing factor within a home. 

The Sheboygan Water Utility uses an approved phosphate treatment additive to coat lead and copper water laterals and thus reduce the possibility of lead or copper dissolving in the water. As required by US EPA and WI DNR, the Utility routinely tests water in residences for both lead and copper content to ensure compliance with safety regulations. 

For additional information, please refer to the pamphlet below from WI DNR. If you have a lead water lateral, experts recommend running water from your faucet for several minutes to flush out water that might have sat all night in the lateral. Home water filters may be used to reduce or eliminate lead. As an additional precaution, homeowners can test lead content in their drinking water by contacting a certified lab.

Disruption of Old Lead Water Service Laterals

When a lead water lateral is disrupted, the risk of lead exposure increases. Lead water laterals may get disturbed when underground utilities are installed, replaced, or repaired. Any physical contact with or around the lateral can cause damage to it, whether through handling, moving, lifting, bending, or point load. There is growing evidence that disruption of an old lead water lateral can release particulate lead, which is not prevented by the interior phosphate coating within the lead pipe.  Disrupted laterals are required to be replaced, and are not allowed to be in service. 


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Lead Service Line Inventory Map

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Ordinance Regarding Lead Service Line Replacement Requirement

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Not sure what material your water lateral is made of? Contact us and we will check our records.