Unlike other drinking water contaminants, the contamination of lead in drinking water doesn’t happen at the water source but rather the facility’s plumbing or distribution system. The primary reason of contamination comes from the corrosion of the plumbing materials. Corrosion of metals in plumbing is caused by a chemical reaction between the water and pipe materials when water is high in acidity and has a low mineral content; especially older homes and facilities built before 1986. Since 1986. Congress passed the “Lead Ban” which prohibits any installs or repairs to plumbing that carries drinking water must use lead free materials. Many systems in Oklahoma have done a good job in removing old lines but there could still be a potential exposure route from older homes with contaminated private service lines and fixtures.


EPA’s Sources of Lead in Drinking Water Infographic; 2017