The USEPA published the Lead and Copper Rule (Rule) on June 7, 1991. The Rule requires water utilities to conduct monitoring of first-draw water samples collected at the tap of several homes/buildings located throughout the distribution system that are at high risk of lead or copper contamination. The homes selected for monitoring are those that have copper pipes with lead solder installed after 1982; lead pipes; or have a lead service line from the water main. The Rule established Action Levels for lead (15 ppb) and Copper (1.3ppm) based on the 90th percentile level of the water samples collected at the tap. The Rule is a treatment technique rule. If the Action Level is exceeded the water utility is required to take actions to minimize the levels. The actions include enhancing corrosion control to prevent the leaching of the metals, water quality parameter monitoring, source water monitoring and treatment, removal of lead service lines, and public education.
In 2014 the National Drinking Water Advisory Council convened a Lead and Copper Rule Working Group to provide advice to the EPA on long term revisions to the Rule which will improve public health protection.
As of 1997, the Newport Water Division is required to collect samples from 30 homes approved by the RIDOH every three (3) years. The next sampling period is June 2020. The past results reported for the 90th percentile since the Rule was established are:
ppb – parts per billion ppm - parts per million
YEAR/ Monitoring Period LEAD-ppb COPPER- ppm
1992 ( July- December) 16 ppb 0.18 ppm
1993 (January-June) 6 ppb 0.07 ppm
1993 (July- December) 6 ppb 0.08 ppm
1994 (June-September) 4 ppb 0.09 ppm
1995 (January- December) 8 ppb 0.05 ppm
1996 (January- December) 6.8 ppb 0.08 ppm
1997 (January 1997- December 1999) 5.6 ppb 0.05 ppm
2001 (January 2000- December 2002) 9 ppb 0.08 ppm
2004 (January 2003- December 2005) 14 ppb 0.05 ppm
2007 (January 2006- December 2008) 5 ppb 0.034 ppm
2010 ( January 2009- December 2011) 5 ppb 0.05 ppm
2013 ( January 2012- December 2014) 6 ppb 0.055 ppm
2016 (January 2015- December 2017) 8.3 ppb 0.050 ppm
2019 (January 2018- December 2020) 4.8 ppb 0.035 ppm
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