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Lead and Copper Tap Sampling Drinking Water     Central District Highlights

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Lead and Copper Tap Sampling



Who must sample, and how

How are levels regulated?

Routine Sampling

System Specific Sampling

How many samples?




About Lead and Copper Tap Sampling

  • The purpose of the lead and copper tap sampling rule (LCR) is to protect public health by minimizing lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) levels in drinking water. Lead and copper primarily is introduced to drinking water through corrosivity of plumbing materials which contain lead and copper.
  • 40 CFR 141, Subpart I.

Who must sample for lead and copper, and how?

  • All community and non-transient non-community water systems are subject to LCR monitoring requirements

  • All samples should be taken from interior taps of consumption.

  • A lead and copper tap sampling plan is required to be completed and approved by the Department 30 days prior to sampling.

  • Plans should be reviewed before sampling and updated if changes are necessary.

  • All sites sampled must be on the plan in order to accept the results.

  • It is recommended to have 1.5 times more sample sites than required in order to increase sampling flexibility.

How are the levels of lead and copper regulated?

  • Instead of using a set maximum contaminant level (MCL), the LCR has established Action Levels (AL) of 0.015 mg/l for lead and 1.3 mg/l for copper. These action levels are based on 90th percentile levels of tap water samples.

  • In addition, systems with populations exceeding 50,000 must sample for Water Quality Parameters (WQP) each time lead and copper sampling is conducted. Systems with a population less than 50,001 only have to sample water quality parameters when action levels are exceeded or upon the request of the Department if the system is providing corrosion control treatment.

  • WQPs work in conjunction with lead and copper sampling to ensure that there are no problems in the distribution system that may be causing exceedances at individual locations.


Routine Sampling Requirements

  • New water systems must conduct two consecutive six month monitoring periods before they will be eligible for reduced monitoring.
  • Depending on past test results, your system may be eligible for reduced monitoring on an annual or triennial basis.

  • If results exceed the 90th percentile levels, your system may be required to conduct more frequent monitoring.

System Specific Sampling Requirements

  • Please see Monitoring Schedules and Forms for your system’s specific requirements.
  • Systems should start sampling lead and copper in line with the standardized monitoring framework (SMF) schedule. This change will start appearing on the 2012 monitoring reminder schedules.


How many samples are required?

  • Systems on six month monitoring must sample during January-June and July-December each year.
    • For January-June sampling, results are due to the Department by July 10th.
    • For July-December sampling, results are due to the Department by January 10th.

    • The table below lists the number of samples to be collected and analyzed for each reporting period.

Population Interval Number of Sample Sites:
greater than 100,000 100
50,001 to 100,000 60
10,001 to 50,000 60
3,301 to 10,000 40
501 to 3,300 20
101 to 500 10
fewer than 101 5


  • Systems on reduced monitoring must sample during the months of June-September in the appropriate monitoring year.
    • Sampling will be either annual or triennial in accordance with the approved monitoring plan for the system.
    • The table below lists the number of samples to be collected and analyzed for each reporting period.

Population Interval Number of sites required for reduced monitoring:
greater than 100,000 50
50,001 to 100,000 30
10,001 to 50,000 30
3,301 to 10,000 20
501 to 3,300 10
101 to 500 5
fewer than 101 5


Consumer Notification Requirements

  • All participants in the lead and copper tap sampling event must be notified of their individual lead results regardless if those results exceeded the action level for lead within 30 days of the sample results being received back from the laboratory. (See Templates below.)

    • No later than three months following the end of the monitoring period, such systems shall also mail a sample copy of the consumers notification of tap results with the PWS Certification of Notification of Lead and Copper Tap Sample Results form, completed, to the Department of Environmental Protection.

      • If the results indicate that the action level for lead (.015 mg/L) or for copper (1.3 mg/L) has been exceeded for the system, then Public Education Requirements will be initiated. All customers of the water system need to be notified as well as the participants and those whose samples exceeded the action level. Further instructions from the Department will follow such an exceedance. The Lead Public Education Program Report For PWS will be submitted to the Department along with a copy of the notices.


Lead and Copper Tap Sampling Forms

Consumer Notice Templates - Select the template that matches your system type


For Additional Assistance:



Drinking Water Contacts:   Compliance Assurance and Permitting Contacts

Central District

Drinking Water Section

3319 Maguire Blvd., Suite 232

Orlando, Florida 32803-3767


All Purpose Fax: 850-412-0467

Dedicated MOR Fax: 850-412-0740

Incident Reporting and Chemical/Bacteriological Reporting Fax: 850-412-0482


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