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Yes, all community and non-transient non-community public water supplies are required to test for lead and copper according to the following schedule.
Samples must always be taken at the designated and approved sites. The chosen sampling sites for lead and copper differ from the sites chosen for bacteriological sampling. Sampling sites for lead and copper are chosen by the age of the houses and the type of plumbing connected to the system. The sites chosen are often sites with the highest risk of lead and copper contamination. A site may have higher risk of contamination if there are lead service lines, copper plumbing, or lead solder. A list of the sites for each system is available from the Drinking Water Program should there be any question.
Samples are first-draw tap water samples taken in one liter bottles. These samples must be taken to a state approved lab. Samples must be collected from the kitchen or bathroom cold water tap. Lead and copper samples have a 14 day time frame between the time the samples are drawn and when they need to be preserved at the lab. Generally, homeowners may take the samples themselves rather than the operator.
Initially, samples must be taken for 2 consecutive six-month periods for one year. The six-month periods are from January 1 to June 30 and July 1 to Dec 31. If the 90th percentile levels of both sets of samples are one half of the action level or below, the monitoring may be reduced to samples every 3 years. If the 90th percentile levels of the past samples are below the action level but above one half of the action level, the sampling frequency may be reduced to annual.
If the 90th percentile does not exceed the action level for two consecutive annual monitoring periods, sampling frequency may be reduced to once every three years.
Note: this computation can also be easily done by a representative in the Drinking Water Program and is in no way required to be complete upon submission of results.
|System population||Number of Sampling Sites|
|Initial Monitoring||Reduced Monitoring|
|10,001 to 100,000||60||30|
|3,301 to 10,000||40||20|
|501 to 3,300||20||10|
|101 to 500||10||5|
The Lead Action Level is 0.015 mg/L. Adverse health effects of elevated lead levels for children include: altered physical and mental development; interference with growth; deficits in IQ, attention span and hearing; and interference with blood synthesis. In adults, the adverse health effects of elevated lead levels can increase blood pressure and shorten the gestational period.
The Copper Action Level is 1.3 mg/L. Adverse health effects of elevated copper levels include: Stomach and intestinal distress and Wilsons disease.
Elevated lead and copper levels in drinking water are usually caused by corrosion of interior household pipes and fixtures (i.e. lead solder, lead or copper pipes and brass faucets).
More information on Lead contamination can be found in SD state pamphlet "Lead and your Drinking Water" and EPA's WEB page addressing Basic Information About Your Drinking Water.