Water Quality

Information About Lead In Your Water

As a result of recent media attention on lead in the water supply in residence halls at Alfred University and a resulting increase in the scrutiny over lead levels in drinking water within our local schools, the Wayne County Water & Sewer Authority (WCWSA), has prepared the following to offer our customers some additional information on lead.

Lead is unusual among drinking water contaminants because it seldom occurs naturally in water supplies. WCWSA customers get their water from a number of sources,  depending upon which service area you are located in. Our primary source of water is Lake Ontario, but we also provide water as supplied from Canandaigua Lake and from wells located in the Towns of Rose, Sodus, Wolcott and Sterling. None of these sources contain reportable amounts of lead.

Lead gets into drinking water mostly as a result of the corrosion of materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing, such as lead piping, lead solder, or brass plumbing fixtures.  In 1986, lead was banned from being used in pipe and solder for drinking water systems, but in older homes where lead is present in pipe and solder connections it may dissolve into the water after the water sits for long periods of time. Although our residential testing indicates that lead is not a problem for our customers, it is possible that lead levels at your home may be higher than at other homes in the community as a result of materials used in your home’s plumbing.  The Wayne County Water & Sewer Authority is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials and other plumbing components that may have been used within your home or business.

What can you do?

When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by running the water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking   Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline    (1-800-426-4791) or at https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water.

You can’t see, smell or taste lead in your water. Testing at the tap is the only way to measure lead levels. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested to determine if your plumbing is contributing lead to your water.   While WCWSA does not offer in-home testing for lead, three state-certified laboratories that offer lead testing are listed below:

(585) 288-5380
1565 Jefferson Rd.
Bldg 300, Suite 360
Rochester, NY 14623
Life Science Laboratories
LSL Finger Lakes          

(585) 728-3320
16 N. Main Street
P.O. Box 424
Wayland, NY 14572
Pace Laboratories
(518) 860-9724
10 Adler, Suite 104
Syracuse, NY  13057