City Response to Lead in Drinking Water
The City has an active program to reduce the amount of lead that dissolves into tap water, especially in homes with lead service lines or lead soldering in pipes.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) carefully and continuously monitors and adjusts pH levels of water to a specific range that reduces the corrosiveness of the water.
DEP also adds phosphoric acid, a common food preservative, to create a protective film on pipes that reduces the release of metals, such as lead, from household plumbing. Since these treatments were started, the levels of lead in tap water have been going down.
Lead in City Water Supply
Lead is not found at elevated levels in New York City’s reservoirs or distribution system.
Sometimes elevated lead levels are found in tap water samples from corrosion of lead-containing plumbing from older buildings and homes (homes built before 1961 may have lead service lines and plumbing installed before 1987 may contain lead solder).
City owned buildings, including public schools, do not have lead service lines.