Lead and copper in drinking water is mainly due to the corrosion of customer service laterals and household plumbing that contain these metals. Some Henderson homes built prior to 1989 may have pipes or plumbing fixtures that contain lead or used lead solder, after which it was banned in residential construction.
Lead and Copper Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule requires public water providers to monitor the concentrations of these metals at customer taps, to ensure they are below prescribed limits.
The Department of Utility Services conducts a lead and copper testing program every three years on tap water samples collected from participating residences that meet the sampling criteria. The results of lead and copper testing have remained below the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency since the Utility began its testing program.
The next lead and copper sampling and testing period will take place in the summer of 2016. Results from this sampling period will be available by November 2016 and included in the 2017 City of Henderson Water Quality Report.
How lead could get into drinking water
The City of Henderson public water system does not have pipes made with lead. There are a small percentage of homes built prior to 1989 that may contain lead solder in the private water service lateral that connects the public system to the home, or in the home’s plumbing fixtures.
In cases where private pipes, plumbing materials or plumbing fixtures contain lead, it may be possible for the metal to be leached out of the plumbing and into the drinking water due to the corrosive action of the water. Use of lead solder was banned from residential construction in 1989.
Your drinking water is safe from lead
Southern Nevada residents enjoy some of the highest quality drinking water in the nation. Water quality varies across the country depending on the condition of the source water from which it is drawn and the treatment it receives.
Our community’s water comes from the Colorado River and it contains naturally occurring minerals that make it “hard” and less corrosive to piping materials. Additionally, a corrosion inhibitor called Zinc Orthophosphate is added to the water to help prevent metal that may be present in plumbing fixtures from leaching into the drinking water.
How to have your home's water tested
Residents concerned there may be lead in their home’s water can contact a laboratory to order a sample bottle and purchase a lead analysis for around $30-$50. The lab will provide instructions on how to collect a sample for lead and copper testing. For a list of labs certified to perform drinking water analyses, visit the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection website at: ndep.nv.gov/bsdw/lab_real_estate.htm.
The City of Henderson does not test for lead in a home's water supply unless the residence is enrolled in the Copper and Lead Sampling program.
For additional information about lead in drinking water, visit the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection Agency website.