Lead in Drinking Water

How can lead get into the drinking water system?

From the source?
No, we do not detect lead in CRW’s source water, the Clackamas River.

From CRW’s pipes?
No, we have no known lead pipes between the river and the customer’s meter.

From plumbing in customer homes?
Possibly.  Homes built before 1986 may have plumbing that contains lead. See the graphic from the EPA for more details.

CRW tests and treats our water to prevent lead corrosion as it moves through the pipes.

From private lead service lines?
Possibly.  We may need your help to know if any private lead service lines exist.

2023-03-07 09_27_41-epa_lead_in_drinking_water_final_8.21.17.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro (32-bit)

Due to revisions to the federal Lead and Copper Rule, water providers nationwide must report on the characteristics of all public and private service lines by October 2024.  While the likelihood of lead service lines in CRW’s system is very slim, we are still required to complete the inventory by October of 2024.   We are able to gather information on CRW service lines between the water main and the meter, but the line between the meter and the home is more difficult for CRW to access and inspect as it is owned by the customer. Fortunately, guidance from the State of Oregon allows us to use a statistical approach by randomly inspecting a fixed number of services.  We will be conducting these random inspections Fall 2023-spring 2024, and will contact you ahead of time if your address is selected.

What is a service line?

The service line is the pipe that runs from the water main to the home’s internal plumbing.  Lead service lines can be a major source of lead in drinking water. While the likelihood of lead service lines in CRW’s system is very slim, we must still complete the inventory.


What is the risk to humans from exposure to lead in drinking water?

What is the risk to humans from exposure to lead in drinking water?


What can I do to reduce potential lead in my home’s water?

If you do have lead-containing plumbing components, see the link below for simple things you can do to reduce lead in your drinking water.

What does CRW do to reduce the risks of lead?

There are around 150 customers with previously-identified lead plumbing components who help when we need water quality information.  They take water samples first thing in the morning after the water has sat unused all night.  This tells CRW if our water is treated enough to prevent corrosion.  Through this testing process, we can identify the best way to produce the safest water we can.  We are currently meeting the drinking water standard for lead.  With data from these homes we can see trends over time.  These customers have our gratitude and appreciation for their contributions to community health. THANK YOU!

If you have concerns about lead in your water, you can contact us to discuss having your water tested.

Is our water at risk of contamination like in Flint, Michigan?

Many people have wondered if the events in Flint could happen here. The issues and circumstances affecting Flint are very different from what we encounter in CRW’s water system.

To learn more about Flint, click below