City of Raleigh residents—unlike residents of other larger American cities—needn’t worry about Raleigh becoming the next Flint: public records show that Raleigh is in compliance with the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule in testing for the presence of lead in drinking water, and there haven’t been any violations of federal standards for testing practices according to correspondence between city officials and testers.
A Guardian investigation found that at least thirty-three U.S. cities east of the Mississippi River, including Greensboro, weren’t testing residents’ drinking water in compliance with feral standards.
“Cheats” included instructing testers to ‘pre-flush’ water pipes before testing for lead content; to remove aerators from faucets before running water, which can reduce lead content, and to run water slowly, causing lead to be dislodged from pipes.
So you can take city of Raleigh officials at their word when they say they’re taking steps to reduce lead in water:
How is the City Reducing the Risks of Lead in Water?
City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department maintains an active program to minimize the risk of lead exposure through its drinking water supply. Operations staff carefully monitor and adjust pH levels of water to a specific range that reduces the corrosive nature of the water, and corrosion inhibitor is added in our water treatment process to create a protective film on pipes that reduces the release of metals, such as lead, from household plumbing.
The US EPA Lead and Copper Rule compliance is based on the 90th percentile of samples collected during each monitoring period from homes built in the target period between 1982 and 1985 or homes served by lead service lines. The City of Raleigh system is below the action level for lead and below the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for copper and is in compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule.
The City of Raleigh has always been in compliance with the EPA Lead and Copper Rule. The City is currently on reduced monitoring for lead and copper and is required to monitor for lead and copper every three years. Based on the population served, the City is required to monitor at least 50 homes for lead and copper during the compliance year. We currently have 110 homes listed in our Lead and Copper Compliance Monitoring Plan.
The City of Raleigh stays proactive when it comes to public health and safety, in addition to our compliance monitoring; the City has a Volunteer Lead and Copper Program. This allows our customers to have their water tested anytime for lead and copper by our laboratory staff at no cost to the customer.
This is how the city instructs residents to collect water samples:
Here are lead and copper reports from water tested in various households in Raleigh between 2006 and 2013. Another round of sampling is scheduled between July and September of this year, per EPA guidelines. The first page explains how lead sampling is conducted.
These documents explain how testing sites for lead and copper are selected in the city of Raleigh:
And these documents contain correspondence between the city and water customers whose residences were selected for testing, including letters about a revised sampling plan in 2006.