Lead and Copper

Olivenhain Municipal Water District has been monitoring drinking water for lead and copper since the US Environmental Protection Agency regulations went into effect in 1991. Specific homes within our service area are selected for testing every three years per USEPA guidelines. Water samples are collected inside each selected residence at the tap so that the customer’s plumbing is tested along with the service line delivering water to the house. The results shown here are from the most recent lead and copper tap sampling in 2022.

OMWD – Status of Lead and Copper Tap Monitoring
Year Date Completed/ Monitoring Period Type Number of Samples Required Number of Samples Collected Lead 90th Percentile Copper 90th Percentile Units
2022 June 1 – Sept 30 Triennial 3020   0.002 0.417 mg/L
Detection Limits for Reporting 0.005 0.050 mg/L
Action Levels 0.015 1.3 mg/L


A complete report on OMWD’s water quality data is published annually in our Consumer Confidence Report.

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. OMWD is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When water has been sitting for several hours, the potential for lead exposure can be minimized by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. OMWD suggests you collect this flushed water with a bucket and use it to water plants or for other non-consumable use.

If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available online and by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

The State Water Resources Control Board, through the Division of Drinking Water, is working closely with the USEPA to ensure California’s water systems are in compliance with the requirements of the Lead and Copper Rule and taking necessary actions to protect public health. The USEPA will be working on revising and strengthening the LCR. DDW will keep the public abreast of any upcoming changes, and publish the latest information online. If you have further questions regarding this matter, please contact your local DDW district office.

Lead Testing in Schools

The State Water Resources Control Board implemented a new policy requiring water agencies to test water for lead in schools upon a request from school officials. The new testing requirement is a proactive measure aimed at safety and is not in response to any reported situation locally. For additional information, visit http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/leadsamplinginschools.shtml.

The delivery of safe drinking water to all of its schools is and has always been a top priority for OMWD. In compliance with California’s SWRCB Drinking Water Permit Amendment 2017PA-SCHOOLS and Assembly Bill 746 (2017), testing was performed at seven school locations in 2017, six schools in 2018, and one school in 2019. No schools requested testing in 2020 or 2021. The action level of 15 ppb was not exceeded at any location. Customers can request school lead testing results by contacting California’s Division of Drinking Water at DDW-PLU@waterboards.ca.gov or 916-322-9602.