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Lead and tap water

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set and enforce standards to protect public drinking water systems. In the United States, the amount of lead in drinking water should be below 15 parts per billion.

The agency requires water suppliers to produce annual water quality reports. These reports include information about lead amounts. The reports are available to the public.

For more information, call the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) and the National Lead Information Center ( 800-424-5323).

Alternative Names

Water contaminated with lead



United States Environmental Protection Agency website. Basic information about lead in drinking water. www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water. Updated March 28, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019.

Review Date 6/23/2019

Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Emeritus, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.