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Customer Safety is our Top Priority

DC Water remains strongly committed to working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Washington Aqueduct to minimize lead release from pipes throughout the District by controlling corrosion, monitoring for lead at the tap, replacing lead service pipes, educating our customers on the health impacts of lead, and helping them identify and remove lead sources on their property.

Water is virtually lead-free when it leaves the treatment plant, but lead can be released when water comes in contact with pipes and plumbing fixtures that contain lead. Lead sources and lead levels vary between buildings, so it is important to identify and remove any lead sources in each building.

Protecting drinking water from lead sources is the shared responsibility of DC Water and the property owner. DC Water strongly encourages residents to identify and remove any lead pipes or plumbing materials serving their home. For information about your service line, contact Customer Service at (202) 354-3600 or view our lead service line map. Residents may also request a lead test kit from the Drinking Water Division at (202) 612-3440 or leadtest@dcwater.com.

If you have pipes or plumbing fixtures that contain lead, or if you don’t know their material type, you should take steps to minimize potential lead exposure until all sources of lead have been removed.

  • Flush your pipes before using any tap water for drinking or cooking. Run cold water until the temperature changes and then allow it to run for an additional two minutes.
  • Use only cold water for drinking and cooking.
  • Filter your water if there are known or suspected lead sources.
  • Remove and clean faucet aerators every 3 months. 
  • Request a free lead test kit. 

If present, elevated lead levels can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Filter your water before drinking and cooking until all sources of lead have been removed. This includes water used for making infant formula, beverages, and ice. Ensure the filter is NSF/ANSI 53 certified for lead removal by looking on the package or calling the manufacturer. Consult our Water Filter Guide for selecting the appropriate filter.