Testing for Lead

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The Town of Cary is committed to delivering high quality and safe drinking water. Cary's drinking water meets all state and federal regulations, including those regarding levels of lead in tap water.

Testing Your Home

Under the 1986 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, lead was effectively banned from use in home plumbing systems. While only a fraction of homes in Cary were constructed prior to 1987, lead in water testing is available free of charge to all Cary utility customers and residents who are concerned there may be lead in their home plumbing system, regardless of year of home construction. Homeowners collect samples for the test using a kit supplied by the Town of Cary; kits can be obtained by calling (919) 469-4090 or submitting a service request.

Lead Test Quick Facts:

  • Lead Test KitAfter requesting a kit, please allow up to five business days for the kit to be delivered to your home.
  • The homeowner must collect the sample; once collected, please place the sample at residence's front door for pick-up by Town staff.
  • The sample collected for the test should come from a faucet which is regularly used but has not been used in the last six hours prior to collection. For example, consider using your kitchen or half-bath faucet and draw the sample first thing in the morning.
  • All samples are sent to an independent lab for testing; samples may take up to three weeks to be processed.
  • Each sample costs the Town roughly $14 to process; this cost is not passed to the utility customer/homeowner.

Read the step-by-step instructions for the Home Lead Test.

Town Wide Testing

Cary monitors for lead and copper every three years as required under the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule. Since the Town’s population is greater than 100,000 people, a minimum of 50 homes must be monitored for lead and copper levels during each round of testing.

The Town currently has 75 homes identified as candidate locations for compliance monitoring. Selected testing locations must meet certain regulatory requirements and monitoring plans are approved by the N.C. Public Water Supply Section of the Department of Environmental Quality.

The Town of Cary operates and maintains a modern water distribution system, of which less than 25-percent of its piping is older than 40 years of age. Testing of treated water within the Town’s water distribution system has consistently found extremely low levels of lead and most often levels are below analytical detection limits.

The Town first conducted lead and copper testing in 1994. Annual testing was conducted through 1997, at which time the State granted the Town “reduced monitoring” status. This status was granted based on test results from 1994-1997 that showed low levels of lead and copper in the homes where compliance monitoring was conducted. Since 1997, the Town has conducted compliance monitoring in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015. The Town has maintained compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule since the Cary/Apex Water Treatment Facility opened.

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