Lead and Copper in Drinking Water

Lead and copper can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body. The drinking water provided to residents from the City of Red Wing does not contain lead or copper. However, these contaminants can enter the drinking water from corrosion (wearing away) of plumbing materials that contain lead or copper. This includes lead services lines, lead-based solder, copper pipe, and brass components. Materials containing lead were commonly used before 1986. The Red Wing Water Treatment Plant carefully monitors the pH of the drinking water, which can indicate the corrosivity of the groundwater, to prevent these contaminants from entering your water.

The City of Red Wing Utilities Division participates in lead and copper monitoring in our drinking water distribution system. This monitoring is required every three years by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) under the Safe Drinking Water Act to monitor contaminants that may be introduced into the water through the distribution system. Thirty homes are selected from a list provided by MDH and samples are collected. The selection criteria for the sample sites are as follows:

  • Contains copper pipes with lead solder installed before 1983
  • Contains copper pipes with lead solder installed in 1983, 1984, or 1985
  • Served by a lead service line

All results in Red Wing have been well below the action levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency and MDH for both lead and copper. All residents that are part of the monitoring plan are mailed their individual results. These results are also included in the annual Consumer Confidence Report.