Lead and Copper

The State of Michigan updated the Lead and Copper Rule as of June 2018. These rules represent the strictest lead action level in the country.

Lead and Copper monitoring in Washington Township public drinking water

As a result of the update to the Lead and Copper Rules, beginning in 2019 Washington Township is now required to 
           1) increase the number of sample sites, and 
           2) increase the frequency of sampling.
We will be testing our drinking water for lead and copper this summer

If you would like to volunteer to participate as an annual Lead and Copper sampling site,
please complete the online PUBLIC WATER USER SURVEY

or contact the Department of Public Works  by email
or by phon
e (586) 786-0010 extension 2002

Watch this short video on how to collect a water sample for lead and copper testing.
Note: Washington Township's paperwork process and sample bottle pickup vary slightly from what is depicted in this video. Lead and copper participants need to follow the written instructions provided with the sampling supplies. 

Beginning in 2019, testing will be conducted annually to confirm the corrosion control method used at the Great Lakes Water Authority’s water treatment plants continues to work effectively in our distribution system. 

Lead  in public drinking water

Lead is rarely found naturally in water and is not found in GLWA’s source water or treated water leaving GLWA’s five water treatment plants.

Lead gets into drinking water through sources just outside or inside the home.

There are four primary sources of lead that drinking water comes in contact with:
        •Brass faucets and plumbing fixtures – From 1986 to 2014, brass faucets and fittings sold in the US that were labeled as “lead free” could contain up to 8% lead.
        •Lead goose-necks or pigtails, are small connector pipes that were used by some communities, but not Washington Township,  to connect a galvanized steel service line to the water main. 
        •Lead solder was used on copper pipes until 1986.
        •Lead service lines are found in many older communities . In 1947, local ordinances began prohibiting lead pipe in new construction. Since public water wasn't available in Washington Township until the late 1970's, our community does not have lead water service lines.

              BrassFixturesLead solder


Other Sources of Lead in the Home

Paint, dust and soil are the most common sources of lead. Lead can enter your body from soil or paint chips and that dust is often invisible.

Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978. Testing is the only way to confirm the presence. Testing should be completed by a certified Lead Inspector. If lead paint is present, abatement may be warranted. 

Regular cleaning of floors, window sills and other surfaces is recommended to keep dust down. Removing shoes upon entering the house also helps keep dust down. 

Children should wash their hands frequently and eat healthy diets low in fat and high in iron and calcium. 

Certain types of pottery, porcelain and pewter can contain lead and allow lead to leach into food if used for serving or eating foods.

Steps you can take to reduce lead in drinking water     

Consumers can take steps to reduce lead in their water.

Flushing your pipes by running cold water when it hasn’t been used for 6 or more hours is one of the best practices to follow. Customers with lead solder or brass fixtures should run their cold water for 30 seconds.

Always use cold water for drinking, cooking and making baby formula.

Periodically remove and clean the faucet screen/aerator (PDF with photos).

Install lead-free plumbing products. Learn how to identify lead-free plumbing products. (PDF with photos).


If you have questions about public drinking water quality, please contact the Department of Public Works (586) 786-0010 ext 2002 or by email

(source: "Drinking Water and Lead: Customer Version 2 September 20, 2016", GLWA)