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Lead Fact Sheet


Lead has a tendency to be complexed and precipitated by a large number of substances. When released to land, lead binds to soils and does not migrate to ground water. In water, it binds to sediments, and it does not accumulate in fish. This is why it is seldom found in ground waters or natural waters in more than trace quantities, under 10 g/L. However, source waters that contain lead are an indication that intrusions from industrial, mine, or smelter wastes may have occurred. Typically, the source water contains less lead than the water at the “point-of-use”. Studies indicate that nearly all the lead in users’ tap water does not come from the primary water source or from the municipal treatment plant, but is a result of corrosion of lead containing materials that contact water after leaving the treatment plant. Lead can enter the home drinking water by leaching from lead service connections, from lead solder used in copper piping, and from brass fixtures.