Oct 20, 2020

New Hampshire City Shares Lead & Copper Corrosion Control Program Update

Portsmouth, New Hampshire shared a Lead & Copper Corrosion Control Program update

water quality

The U.S. EPA and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services created the Protect Your Tap: 10-minute lead test.

This is an online guide that walks homeowners through a series of steps to see if they have lead pipes bringing water into their home. The guide also discusses how to reduce exposure to lead and how to get water tested, according to the City of Portsmouth. 

To share the guide with your community, Amy Rousseau can be contacted at 603- 271-0893 or [email protected] for more information.

Recent sampling conducted in 2020 of 31 taps throughout the Portsmouth water system showed only four locations with measurable concentrations of lead. 27 locations had no lead detected, according to the city. Portsmouth implemented a Lead & Copper Corrosion Control Program in 2003 and has been in compliance requirements since.

The general purpose of the Lead & Copper Corrosion Control Program is to minimize the potential for water supplied by the City to leach potentially harmful metals such as lead and copper from pipes, fixtures and solder containing lead. The primary source of lead and copper in drinking water is plumbing systems in houses and other privately owned buildings. The City of Portsmouth water supply sources do not contain measurable quantities of lead.

To reduce the potential for the city’s water to leach lead and copper from plumbing systems, a corrosion control inhibitor was added to the water supply. Additionally, Portsmouth water treatment operators continuously monitor the concentration of orthophosphate in the system. 

As part of the Corrosion Control Program development, locations of representative residential household sampling sites were identified based on the three tier priority ranking defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 

Only the sampling sites approved by the NHDES can be used for compliance sampling. The tiered priorities are based upon the following characteristics:

  1. Single-family structures containing copper pipes with lead solder installed after 1982 but before 1988, or containing lead pipes, or are served by lead service lines;
  2. Buildings including multiple-family structures containing copper pipes with lead solder installed after 1982 but before 1988, or are serviced by lead service lines; and
  3. Single-family structures containing copper pipes with lead solder installed before 1983. 

31 sites were sampled in 2020. 27 sites were found “non-detect” for lead, three sites were below 5 ppb, and one site had the highest measured concentration this year of 7 ppb of lead.

Read related content about lead in water testing:

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