Frequently Asked Questions about lead
Q: Does the City of Corpus Christi test drinking water for lead?
A: Yes. Lead samples are taken before, during and after our water treatment process. Lead is non-detectable in our distribution system from the time it leaves the water treatment plant, to the time it reaches resident’s meters. In addition to lead samples, thousands of other water samples are taken each year, and tested for chemical, mineral and bacteriological parameters. This ensures the drinking water chemistry remains stable and does not contribute to leaching of metals in plumbing.
Q: Where does lead in drinking water come from?
A: Lead can enter drinking water when residential plumbing materials that contain lead corrode. Lead pipes were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1986, but in some homes built before 1986, lead may be found in pipes inside the house, pipes connecting a building to the main water pipe (service line), faucets and fixtures.
Q: Are there other sources of lead to be aware of?
A: It is important to recognize all the ways a person can be exposed to lead. Homes built before 1978 can contain lead-based paint. When the paint peels and cracks, it makes lead dust which can be breathed in. Lead-contaminated soil can result from old deposits of leaded gasoline, exterior lead-based paint, and industrial sources. Lead can also be found in some products such as toys and jewelry, or candies imported from other countries.
Q: Does my water softener remove lead?
A: A water softener alone is not designed to eliminate lead from a home’s water supply. Water softeners reduce the hardness of water by removing things like calcium, magnesium and iron. Water softeners can actually make water more corrosive and contribute to elevated lead levels in drinking water.
Q: Who is most vulnerable to lead?
A: Young children, infants and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to lead because the physical and behavioral effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in adults. Infants and toddlers can absorb four to five times as much lead as adults. Pregnant women can also be affected by lead consumption. If present in pregnant women, lead can cause reduced growth rates of the fetus and premature birth.
Q: What should I do if my test results show lead levels in my home?
A: There are several steps that can be taken to reduce lead in your drinking water:
Run your water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, until the water is noticeably colder before use. This is especially important when your water has been sitting for several hours or overnight.
Always use cold water for cooking or drinking.
Periodically remove and clean the faucet screen (also called an aerator).
Identify and replace plumbing fixtures that may contain lead.
Consider using a home water filter device certified to remove lead.
Q: Can I request a lead testing kit if I live in an apartment?
A: Yes, however, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a time and/or location that we can drop off your testing kit. Kits are typically left on porches so special arrangements may need to be made for dropping off your kit.
Q: Can I request a lead testing kit for my business or my child's school or daycare?
A: At this time, we are only providing kits to homes and businesses. However, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has a free statewide program to help eligible schools and daycares conduct voluntary sampling. More information can be found here.
Q: How can I request a lead testing kit for my home?
A: Keep scrolling and fill out the form below!