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City of Philadelphia

Overview

Meeting Lead Standards

Philadelphia’s water quality continues to meet all State and Federal standards. Philadelphia Water successfully passed the most recent round of water quality testing for lead at customers’ taps. Learn more and see the results of those tests here.

The drinking water delivered to your home meets or exceeds state and federal water quality standards. When high lead levels are found in tap water, the lead comes from plumbing on the customer’s property.

Customers are responsible for all home plumbing, and the Philadelphia Water Department cannot control what plumbing materials are used beyond the City’s water main. Homes built before 1950 may have a service line, the pipe connecting home plumbing to the water main in the street, made from lead. Copper pipes inside homes may also be joined by solder containing lead, and older brass pipes, faucets, fittings and valves may have some lead.

While the Philadelphia Water Department treats water to make it safer for homes with lead plumbing, there is always a risk of lead getting into water when you have lead in your plumbing.

There are two main ways lead can get into water:

  • When water sits in plumbing made from lead
  • When pieces of lead plumbing or solder break off inside drinking water pipes

It is important for customers to check their home for lead plumbing and take steps to ensure safe water if lead is discovered. Whether your home has lead plumbing or not, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the cleanest, freshest water possible.

If you do find lead plumbing at your home, visit the What Do I Do If I Have Lead Pipes? page for steps you can take and call our hotline (215) 685-6300.

How Can I Get My Water Tested?

Philadelphia Water will conduct free lead tests for customers. If you believe you have lead plumbing in your home and would like to have someone check your water, call our hotline at 215-685-6300 to schedule an appointment.

Maintaining Household Plumbing