Lead and Copper Testing Details

NWWA's Lead and Copper Monitoring Program consists of two components. 

1) Homes constructed before 1950 and between 1983 and 1987 are specifically targeted. Homes built before 1950 may have an original lead water service line. Homes built between 1983 and 1987 may have lead-based solder used in them.

If your home was built in either of these timeframes, we need you as a sample volunteer. This monitoring will occur in the summer/early fall of 2019. Because the water leaving our Forest Park Water treatment facility does not contain lead, we must rely solely on our customers to perform this testing.

Participation is simple! We will provide a free Lead Check kit that consists of a simple test swab to be used on the solder of your household plumbing. You can either perform the test yourself or request a NWWA operator to visit your home to perform the check for you. Test kits are available for pick up at our office if you wish to perform the test on your own. You'll get immediate results and will know if lead is present if the swab turns pink!

Have a pre-1950 home and don't know if your service line has been replaced? This photo shows the various water pipe materials.


Don't know what solder is? It's a silver substance that holds joints together as shown in the image below:

ex pipe with solder

Click here for the Lead Check kit instructions.

If you are interested in performing the Lead Check test, please call our office at (215) 699-4836, Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm or email Vanessa Curran at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

If the Lead Check test is positive for lead, we encourage you to join our lead and copper monitoring program described below, where your tap water will be tested for the level of lead and copper present.

2) Routine monitoring which consists of sampling the tap water from at least 30 homes every three years. Customers in this group live in homes that were constructed before 1950 (which may present a lead service line concern) or from 1983-1987. As a result of a history of favorable testing results, this is a reduced monitoring requirement for NWWA. The monitoring typically occurs June through September.

For this testing, we deliver sample bottles to a location of your choice (at front door, at back door, between the storm door and the front door, at the garage door, etc). Water must sit static for at least 6 hours before the lead and copper sample is taken. We often encourage customers to perform the test first thing in the morning or right away when they return home from work.

Once the sample has been taken, we return to collect the bottles from the drop off location specified by the customer. Sample bottles are taken to the lab for processing. Lab results usually take four to six weeks to process. All customers receive letters detailing and explaining their lead and copper test results.

Click here for the Lead and Copper Sample Collection Procedures document.

If you have a home that was built outside the 1983-1987 parameters, Lead Check kits are readily available for your purchase. A few of your options include: