Lead is not usually found in drinking water at its source (e.g., surface water, groundwater, reservoirs). The potential for exposure to lead through drinking water is due to the corrosion of lead-containing plumbing and fixtures that can leach lead into drinking water over time. Materials affected by corrosion can include lead service lines, internal home plumbing, and fixtures such as old faucets. Multiple factors can affect whether and to what extent lead leaches into drinking water, including the lead content of pipes, fixtures, and solder, along with water temperature, pH, and hardness, as well as the application of corrosion control technology by the water system.
Lead presents health concerns for people of all ages, but particularly pregnant people, infants, and young children. If consumers live in homes, or communities where lead is in contact with drinking water, they may be at risk of exposure.