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Lead Testing Requirements

Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) takes its responsibility to protect customers from lead exposure seriously. 

Lead Lead is a soft, malleable metal that was used in everything from gasoline to water pipes before its health effects forced the federal government to limit its use in the 1980s.

How does lead get into drinking water? Lead does not occur naturally in water. It comes from lead pipes or plumbing materials. Water that is corrosive will leach the lead from the pipes. Although lead materials have been banned, homes built before 1986 may still have lead components in their private plumbing system.

Is lead regulated? Yes, the US EPA regulates lead via the Lead and Copper Rule. The rule requires utilities to test tap water from a sampling of homes that have lead plumbing. Lead levels must be below 15 parts per billion (ppb) for 90% of the samples tested.  Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) takes its responsibility to protect customers from lead exposure seriously. 

MPW's monitoring is conducted in accordance with state and federal regulatory requirements and guidance.  As required, MPW conducts lead and copper testing every three years, sampling throughout the entire distribution system.  Water is collected and sent to a third party lab chosen by SCDHEC for testing.  Results are first reviewed by SCDHEC and then passed on to MPW. 

MPW monitors the corrosivity of our water to ensure it is not corrosive and does not leach lead into the water when it sits in the pipes. The last testing was conducted in 2014 and MPW’s results were 0, no detection in all the samples collected.  The Annual Water Quality Report, published every year in June, highlights a summary of the testing results. 

Older parts of Mount Pleasant Waterworks distribution system did have some lead pipes from the main to the customer’s water meter. In the 1980’s MPW removed the lead pipes and copper pipes that may have had lead solder joints. 

Some customers living in homes constructed prior to 1986 may have lead pipes or copper pipes with lead joints on their side of the water meter.  Those customers should have their water tested and speak with a plumber about removing material with lead components.

If you are interested in having your water tested, MPW can assist.  Once the sample is collected, MPW will send your sample to a certified laboratory for testing.  MPW will also help you analyze your results. Lead testing is FREE. You can contact MPW’s Laboratory Director, Jestine Deepe (843-884-9626) regarding this process if you have additional questions.

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