Lead Information

​Is There Lead In My Water?

There is no detectable lead in BWL drinking water when it leaves our conditioning plants. However, since water is naturally corrosive, small amounts of lead can dissolve into your drinking water if your water sits for several hours in contact with household plumbing fixtures, solder or faucets. The corrosion control additive creates a protective coating to reduce or eliminate the risk of exposure.

BWL conducted lead and copper sampling during the summer of 2023. Results are available in our Annual Water Quality Report. BWL compliance monitoring is every three years with the next sampling round scheduled for 2026.

BWL Lead Protection Strategy

The BWL follows a two-part strategy to protect its residential and commercial customers from exposure to lead leaching into drinking water.

Part One

In December 2016, the BWL replaced its last active lead service line, joining Madison, Wisconsin as the second water utility in the nation to have removed all lead service lines. The project began in 2004 and removed 12,150 active lead service lines at a cost of $44.5 million. The BWL replaced the connection from the water main to the meter, which the BWL owns, at a home or business.

Part Two

BWL uses a corrosion control additive to create a protective coating in the water mains, service lines and indoor plumbing.

To ensure that these strategies are effective, the BWL conducts periodic testing for lead and copper in its drinking water and corrosion control concentrations in its distribution system. These are just a few of the many tests performed by the BWL to assure that its water remains safe for usage and consumption.

Protect Your Family from Lead

  • Flush your pipes before drinking. If your water has sat in your home’s plumbing for more than six hours, then run the tap until the water feels cold. To conserve water, the water could be collected to use on household plants.
  • Use only cold water for drinking, cooking and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead.
  • Check your plumbing fixtures. A new “lead-free” law came into effect in 2014 limiting the amount of lead in faucets and plumbing.