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The water service line is a small underground pipe that provides water from the water main in the street to the property. Concord Public Works owns the section from the water main to the curb stop at the property line. The privately-owned section is from the curb stop to the water meter.
If you know lead is present in your drinking water (from a water test), if you have pipes or plumbing fixtures that contain lead, or if you don’t know the material type, you can take steps to minimize potential lead exposure until all sources of lead have been removed.
Most faucets purchased prior to 1997 were constructed of brass or chrome-plated brass, which contain up to 8 percent lead (the main metals in brass are copper and zinc). Water sitting for several hours or overnight in a brass faucet can leach lead from the brass faucet interior which may produce high lead levels in the first draw of drinking water. Later regulations mandated that most faucets purchased after 1997 contain less lead than previously used thereby reducing the possible leaching of lead. However, the most recent legislation, called “Get the Lead Out,” mandates that after January 4, 2014, all faucets purchased will contain no more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead in relation to wetted surface.
Responding to recent regulations, faucet manufacturers have decreased or eliminated the lead in residential kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets, bar faucets, drinking fountains, and icemakers. Starting January 4, 2014, all faucets will be produced with no more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead with respect to the wetted surface. The national standard for certifying plumbing fixtures "lead free" status is determined by the National Sanitary Foundation (NSF) - the standard is International Standard 61-Section 9. New faucets meeting the NSF 61 standard will have NSF 61/9 stamped on the new faucet’s cardboard box. For more information on lead-free fixtures including catalogs and website directories, contact NSF at 1-800-NSF-MARK or www.nsf.org.
Some faucet manufactures produce plastic faucets that have virtually zero lead. Other manufactures are substituting other metals for the lead in the brass, inserting copper tubes inside the brass faucets, or applying special coatings on the inside of the faucets in order to minimize or eliminate lead leaching. With the recent legislation, more and more faucet manufacturers are advertising faucets that adhere to the new “lead-free” definition allowing a maximum of 0.25 percent lead.
In extreme cases, older faucets can contribute up to one-third of the lead in water that has been sitting in the pipes for several hours, with the remainder coming from other plumbing such as pre-1988 lead solder joints in copper pipes or a lead service line. Residents who let the water run at the tap in the morning for one minute and use cold water for cooking should have little concern with respect to lead in the drinking water. If residents are still concerned, they can have their water tested.
Federal and State lead regulations do not cover any pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, or fixtures, that are used exclusively for nonpotable services like manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering (hoses), or other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption. This includes toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are two inches in diameter or larger.
Be sure that only valves and filters intended for drinking water supply are used in any home plumbing project.
Service line material data is based on historical permit records, water main tap records, meter records, and/or maintenance, repair and replacement work. If Concord does not have records of the service line material, a CPW crew member may come out to your property to look were your water service comes through the foundation and meets your meter. In a select number of cases where CPW does not have records and the waterline is inaccessible we may have to excavate a small 12x12 hole above the service line outside your home.
Federal and State lead regulations do not cover hose bibs, bathtub fixtures, shower heads, and industrial faucets.
Yes, just give us a call at 978-318-3250. If you are leaving a message please make sure to leave your name, number and the location of interest so we can respond (and log the inquiry) accordingly.
Yes, just give us a call at 978-318-3250 and we will walk you through all the details on sample collection, trusted labs and available programs.
The Division has coordinated sampling and testing activities with local laboratories to secure discounted rates for participating residents but if you choose you can use any Massachusetts Certified Drinking Water Laboratory http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/drinking/certified-laboratories.html
We suggest using a certified lab that takes water samples from both private (homeowners/commercial) and municipal customers as we have found some that take only private customers provide misleading information and upsell testing.