Frequent Questions

What is the standard for copper in drinking water? What are the potential health effects?

Instead of establishing a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for copper, EPA requires public water systems to control the corrosivity of water on lead and copper pipes through action levels. EPA has set an action level for copper at 1.3 mg/L (40 CFR 141.80(c)(2)). An action level is the concentration of lead or copper in water that determines, in some cases, the treatment requirements that a water system is required to complete. The short-term exposure to evels of copper above the action level may cause gastrointestinal distress. Long-term exposure to copper may cause liver or kidney damage. People with Wilson's Disease should consult their personal doctor if the amount of copper in their drinking water exceeds the action level.
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