Lead and Your Drinking Water


Twice each year for the past 20 years, TVWD has participated in a joint monitoring program to determine lead and copper levels in water from residential homes plumbed with copper pipes and lead solder. This program has been administered by the Portland Water Bureau since 1997 and includes public water systems who use Portland's water supply. While lead and copper are rarely found in drinking water sources and TVWD's system has no known sources of lead, they can leach into drinking water from home plumbing materials, especially from homes built between 1970 and 1985, just prior to when lead solder was banned.

The joint monitoring program's combined results from the November 2016 round of sampling exceeded the lead action level. During this round, lead levels were 17 parts per billion, which is over the Environmental Protection Agency action level of 15 parts per billion. Individual test results from TVWD homes indicated that two of the 42 homes sampled were above the action level.

In April 2016, the TVWD Board of Commissioners made the decision to withdraw from Portland's joint monitoring program and implement an expanded lead and copper monitoring program in 2017. This expanded, TVWD-only lead and copper program will increase the transparency of monitoring results and enhance accountability to our customers. More information will become available as these monitoring efforts begin in the spring of 2017.

These efforts reflect the important role public water systems play in protecting our community's health. Lead and copper monitoring, customer education and access to free lead sampling kits will continue to be a priority. Providing high quality, safe drinking water to our customers is of the highest importance to TVWD.

Lead Forum Video

Video of TVWD's Lead and Water Quality forum from the summer of 2016 is now available. You can watch the full video, video of just the presentation portion or just the question and answer portion. You can also take a look at the PowerPoint presentation (PDF).


TVWD continues to provide a no-cost, in-home lead in water test kit for residential customers along with additional information about reducing exposure to lead.