Lead and Water Information
The City of McKinney water meets all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) standards for lead in drinking water and continues to be well below the state and federal action levels for lead. The city maintains a Superior water rating and benefits from extremely low levels of lead.
Where McKinney's Water Comes From
- The city receives treated water from the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD).
- The water leaving the treatment plant does not contain lead.
- The city and NTMWD work hard to provide high-quality water for all customers and actively minimize any risk of lead.
City of McKinney Action Plan
In accordance with EPA and TCEQ guidelines, the City of McKinney actively works to reduce customers' exposure to lead from drinking water. These efforts include:
- Corrosion Control: pH level of the water is raised to create scale in the pipes, which prevents the water from absorbing harmful elements from plumbing.
- Service Line Inventory: City staff have already begun the inventory of over 66,000 service lines. The project began in 2021 and is estimated to be completed by October 2024. An interactive map will be available once the inventory is complete.
- Developments built in the last 30 years have neither lead service lines nor private plumbing lines that are lead. However, homes or businesses could still have brass or chrome-plated brass faucets, galvanized pipes or other plumbing soldered with lead.
- The City of McKinney does not have information about the type of materials used in private plumbing inside homes and businesses. Please contact a licensed plumber to perform an inspection if you think your home or business could be at risk.
- Service Line Replacement: To date, the city has replaced all known lead service lines that were discovered through normal maintenance and water rehabilitation projects.
- Private water service lines: Private piping from within your home out to your water meter is not serviced by the city. Replacement of private water service lines is the responsibility of the customer. Income-based assistance is available via the city's Housing Rehabilitation and Reconstruction program.
- Schools and Daycares: The city is proactively contacting all registered daycares and schools in the city to explain new guidelines concerning sampling for lead in water. All registered daycares and schools / charters up to 8th grade will be required to comply with the new guidelines.
- Lead and Copper Testing: The city is required to collect water samples to determine lead and copper levels in the system. Samples are analyzed at a state-certified laboratory for analysis. Currently, sampling is conducted at 50 customer locations every three years. The City of McKinney was awarded a reduced sampling schedule from TCEQ because our water system meets all federal and state governments requirements.
Lead is not typically present in either source or treated water within our system. If lead is found in drinking water, it dissolves into water over time via corroding plumbing materials, pipes, solder, fixtures, and fittings. These materials are more likely found in homes built before 1986. Fortunately, these materials are less common in McKinney than in other major cities across the United States.
- Copper Pipe with Lead Solder: Solder made or installed before 1986 contained high lead levels.
- Faucets: Fixtures inside your home may contain lead.
- Galvanized Pipe: Lead particles can attach to the surface of galvanized pipes. Over time, the particles can enter your drinking water, causing elevated lead levels.
- Lead Goose Necks: Goosenecks and pigtails are shorter pipes that connect the lead service line to the main.
- Lead Service Line: The service line is the pipe that runs from the water main to the home's internal private plumbing. Lead service lines can be a major source of lead contamination in water.
How to Identify Your Service Line Type
Use a flathead screwdriver to scrape a small area clean on the pipe. Hold a magnet to the pipe. If the magnet sticks to the pipe, this indicates galvanized metal piping. Magnets will not attach to copper or lead pipes.
- Lead: A dull, silver-gray color that is easily scratched with a coin. Strong magnets will not cling to lead pipes.
- Galvanized: A dull, silver-gray color. Strong magnets will typically cling to galvanized pipes.
- Copper: The color of a penny.
- Plastic: White, rigid pipe. Other colors include blue and black.
- Brass: Dark reddish brown to a light silvery color. Older pipes may be corroded and may contain lead.
Lead can have negative impacts on physical and mental development in babies and young children and can also increase blood pressure in adults.
Lead Exposure Risk
Exposure to lead can come from a variety of sources, like paint, gasoline, and other consumer products. More commonly, people are exposed to lead through paint, soil, and dust.
Reducing Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water
Lead sources are often found on the property owner’s side of the meter. Although corrosion control can reduce the risks, the best strategy to protect against lead is to identify and replace potential sources of lead in private plumbing. A plumber can advise on the type of pipes in your home.
If you are worried about lead exposure, here are some steps you can take:
- Run the tap before use. Lead levels are usually at their highest after the water has been sitting in the pipe for several hours. This water can be cleared from pipes by running cold water for several minutes, allowing you to draw fresh water. You can use this water for house plants or to flush toilets.
- Use cold water for cooking and drinking. Always cook and prepare baby formula with cold water because hot water dissolves materials more quickly, resulting in higher levels of potential metal contaminants.
- Clean faucet screens or aerators.
- Filter the water. Many home water filters are effective at removing lead. If you purchase a filter, make sure it is certified for lead removal and that you maintain it properly.
- Safe Drinking Water Hotline | 800-426-4791
- Safe Drinking Water Hotline | Ground Water and Drinking Water | US EPA
- Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water | US EPA
- Sources of Lead in Drinking Water (PDF) | EPA
- Ground Water and Drinking Water | EPA
- American Water Works: Let's Get the Lead Out video