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Lead in drinking water

Fort Worth Water cares about the health of our customers and their families. For that reason, we want to be open about issues and facts surrounding lead in drinking water, especially Fort Worth’s drinking water.

Lead is rarely found naturally in our source water or in the treated water flowing through the distribution system. More commonly, lead leaches into water over time through corrosion – a dissolving or wearing of metal caused by a chemical reaction between water and your plumbing. Lead can leach into water from pipes, solder, fixtures, faucets (brass) and fittings. The amount of lead in your water depends on the types and amounts of minerals in the water, how long the water stays in the pipes, the water’s alkalinity, corrosivity, pH and water temperature.

Why lead is a health issue

Lead can be harmful. It can impact normal physical and mental development in babies and young children. Lead can cause deficits in the attention span, hearing, and learning abilities of children. Lead can increase blood pressure in adults.

Adults and children are exposed to lead from various sources, such as paint, gasoline, solder and consumer products. Exposure can occur through different pathways, such as air, food, water, dust and soil. Although there are several exposure sources, lead-based paint is the most widespread and dangerous high-dose source of lead exposure for young children.

If you have a lead service line, lead private plumbing pipes, lead solder on copper pipes or brass fixtures, lead may leach into water you drink. EPA estimates that 10 to 20 percent of lead exposure in young children may come from drinking water. Infants raised on mixed formula can receive 40 to 60 percent of their exposure from drinking water.

More information

Visit Tarrant County Public Health.