Water Quality - Lead and Copper

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Additional Resources
Learn about Lead (EPA)
Lead in Drinking Water (EPA)
Lead and Copper Rule

Loveland’s water meets and exceeds all state and federal standards for water quality including the Lead and Copper Rule.

The Lead and Copper Rule was established in 1991 to protect public health by minimizing lead and copper levels in drinking water by reducing water corrosivity. Lead and copper may enter drinking water from corrosion of lead and copper plumbing materials.

Loveland Water and Power (LWP) participates in all aspects of the Lead and Copper Rule from the moment the source water enters the plant until it comes through the taps of Loveland residents. Staff tests lead and copper, at the Water Treatment Plant and in designated homes. In 1991, LWP set up 60 sample sites in homes throughout the distribution system to test annually. Because of low lead and copper results, over the first three sampling events, LWP was given a reduced sampling plan that now consists of 30 samples every three years. These sites were chosen to reflect a variety of homes, new and older houses with copper piping and lead soldering and some with lead service lines. The sampling protocol is performed to reflect “worst case scenario”, and is done after water sits in piping for 6-8 hours with no water use. The last sampling under the Lead and Copper Rule was conducted in 2014, with the next sampling scheduled for June through September of 2017.

The EPA has set action levels (AL) of 0.015 mg/L (milligrams per liter) for lead and 1.3 mg/L for copper, based on the 90th percentile. An exceedance of an AL is not a violation but can trigger other requirements like such as community education programs. A community water system may exceed ALs in 10% of samples taken. Since the Lead and Copper Rule was established, Loveland has never, exceeded ALs in 10% of our samples. In fact, since 2002, we have not had any samples that exceed the action levels for either lead or copper.

To monitor the corrosiveness of the treated drinking water, the staff of the Water Treatment Plant and Water Quality Lab, checks both alkalinity and pH, analyzing pH continuously at the plant and throughout the system numerous times daily. Lead and copper analysis, along with pH and alkalinity are performed over and above what is required by the state and the EPA at the Water Treatment Plant.

Water Distribution crews check lines for lead piping and lead soldering whenever they repair mains or fix leaks. If they find any sign of the potential of lead while inspecting water meters and city service lines, they replace the meters and piping immediately. This practice has added an additional layer of protection to the city’s Lead and Copper Program.

How To Reduce Lead in Drinking Water

Want to know more?

Each year LWP publishes a Water Quality Report which can be found online at cityofloveland.org/WaterQuality. The report details the most recent results of lead and copper testing, along with details about the quality of drinking water and services offered to customers.

Visit us at events such as Passport to Water and Power where you can speak directly with a LWP water quality lab professionals, water treatment plant operators and distribution crews.