Water Quality

Telephone (315) 792-0301
Fax (315) 792-5201
One Kennedy Plaza
Utica, NY 13502

USEPA ID#: NY01505
New York State ELAP ID#: 10319
Pennsylvania DEP ID#: 68-03428

American Waterworks Association (AWWA)
Water Research Foundation

Lead and Copper

Directions for Lead and Copper Drinking Water Examination

Please read and follow all steps listed:

  1. A sample is to be collected after an extended period of stagnant water conditions (i.e., no water use during this period) within the interior piping. A minimum of 6-8 hour period during which there is no water use must be achieved prior to sampling. MVWA recommends that either early mornings or evenings upon returning home are the best sampling times to ensure that the necessary stagnant water conditions exist.
  2. A kitchen or bathroom cold water faucet is to be used for sampling. Place the sample bottle (open) below the faucet and gently open the cold water tap. Fill the bottle completely and turn off the water. Do not run the tap prior to sampling. The sample must be a “first-draw” sample.
  3. Tightly cap the sample bottle. Label the bottle with name, address, site of sample, and date/time of sample collection in ink. Complete the Lead & Copper Test Form paperwork. Please review the sample information at this time to ensure that all information contained on the label is correct and matches the paperwork. Place both in the bag provided.
  4. For customers of MVWAs water system:
    • Prior arrangements will be made with the consumer to coordinate the sample collection event. Dates will be set for sample kit delivery and pick up by Water Quality department staff. There is no charge for this analysis.
  5. For customers (private water samples) who picked up sample bottles:
    • Bring the sample to the laboratory within 48 hours. The sample should be refrigerated from collection until delivery to the MVWA lab.
    • The cost for this analysis is $40, payable at the time of sample drop-off. We accept cash, check, money order, credit or debit cards. Please make checks payable to MVWA.
  6. MVWA will subcontract your sample out to its contract lab. Please allow up to 15 business days for results to be reported.
  7. If you have any questions regarding these instructions please contact the Water Quality Department at 315-792-0301 or at www.mvwa.us .
  8. NOTE: NYSDOH is collecting data on private well water quality. There are currently no NYS requirements for private well water. With your permission, MVWA will share your results with DOH. It is confidential and there are no additional requirements for you based on test results.

Test Explanation for Lead & Copper Analysis

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) enacted the Lead and Copper Rule in 1991 to provide human protection by reducing lead and copper levels in drinking water at the consumer’s tap. The Rule set the following action levels:

  • The USEPA Lead Action Level is 15 μg/L (ppb), or 15 parts per billion (ppb). The results listed on your report are reported as μg/L (ppb).
  • The USEPA Copper Action Level is 1.3 mg/L or 1.3 parts per million (ppm) is equal to 1,300 μg/L or 1,300 parts per billion (ppb). The results listed on your report are reported as μg/L (ppb).
  • Samples have been subcontracted out to an approved laboratory for analysis.

Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by high levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones, and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain development.

The primary sources of lead exposure for most children are deteriorating lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust, and lead-contaminated residential soil. Lead is found is some toys, some playground equipment, some children’s metal jewelry, and some traditional pottery. Exposure to lead is a significant health concern, especially for young children and infants whose growing bodies tend to absorb more lead than the average adult. If you are concerned about lead exposure, parents should ask their health care providers about testing children for high levels of lead in the blood.

  • Run your water to flush out lead. If water has not been used for several hours, run water for 15-30 seconds to flush lead from interior plumbing or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking.
  • Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula.
  • Do not boil water to remove lead.
  • Look for alternative sources or treatment of water (such as bottled water or water filters).
  • Re-test your water for lead periodically.
  • Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead.

For More Information

Please call us at 315-792-0301. For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home and the health effects of lead, visit EPA’s Web site at EPA.GOV/Lead, call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD, or contact your health care provider.