Lead and Copper

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Faucet running water

Northshore Utility District’s drinking water source does not contain lead.  However, lead can leach into water from plumbing materials, such as lead-based solder and brass fixtures. 

Homes or buildings that were built or re-plumbed with copper pipes and lead-based solder prior to 1985 are considered “higher risk.” (The 1985 plumbing code was revised to require lead-free materials).  Northshore Utility District is responsible for providing high quality water but cannot control or change the materials used in private plumbing systems.

Concerned about the risk of lead in your home plumbing?

Northshore Utility District is launching a pilot program to provide free lead tests for homes considered at-risk for higher lead levels (homes built prior to 1985).  The complimentary test performed with field equipment by District staff is considered informational only; results are not certified at the level of a water testing lab.

A certified water lab can perform a thorough home water test for around $25.

For concerns about lead or to request the free lead test, contact (425) 398-4419 or waterquality@nud.net. 

Steps to reduce the risk of lead in your home:

  • Flush pipes before drinking.  The longer water has been sitting in pipes, the more lead it may contain.  Before using water for drinking or cooking, run your tap for 30 seconds to several minutes to reduce the potential for lead exposure. 
  • Only use cold water for cooking, drinking, and mixing baby formula.  Hot water tends to draw lead from plumbing systems and fixtures at a much higher rate than cold water.  Flush cold water first (if needed), and heat the water afterward if necessary.
  • Select low-lead or no-lead fixtures when making plumbing changes. 
  • Use water filters or treatment devices certified by independent organizations for lead reduction. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), a public health and safety organization, provides benchmark standards for residential water filtration systems.   

For more information and resources: