Frequent Questions

Does EPA recommend not shutting off the water valves during the isolation of the sink for lead and copper testing?

This instruction form was revised as part of EPA’s October 20, 2006, Memorandum: Management of Aerators during Collection of Tap Samples to Comply with the Lead and Copper Rule. This memorandum clarifies that water systems should not instruct customers to remove or clean aerators prior to or during the collection of tap samples for lead. Aerators are part of some faucet assemblies and are used to introduce air into the water flow. Although not intended to remove inorganic contaminants, screens that are part of the aerator may trap particulate matter or debris within the faucet. Removal and cleaning of the aerator is advisable on a regular basis. However, if customers are only encouraged to remove and clean aerators prior to drawing a sample to test for lead, the water system could fail to identify typically available contribution of lead from the tap, and thus, fail to take additional actions needed to reduce exposure to lead n drinking water.

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