Lead & Copper Sampling Program

Lead and copper can enter drinking water, primarily through plumbing materials. Exposure to lead and copper may cause health problems ranging from stomach distress to brain damage.  In 1991, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water. This regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule (also referred to as the LCR). For additional information on the LCR, visit https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/lead-and-copper-rule

As required by the EPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the City of Dubuque Water Department conducts a lead and copper sampling program to monitor drinking water at customer taps. If lead concentrations exceed an action level of 15 ppb or copper concentrations exceed an action level of 1.3 ppm in more than 10% of customer taps sampled, the City must undertake a number of additional actions to control corrosion.

Volunteers Needed

The City of Dubuque is seeking volunteer homeowners, residents, and other water customers with lead services lines to participate in this sampling program to monitor water quality. Volunteers that meet the program requirements will be asked to collect a water sample every three years from an unfiltered/untreated faucet in their home that is commonly used for drinking. The Dubuque Water Department will provide the sample bottle and instructions and will collect the sample after it is collected by the volunteer. Individual results will be provided to volunteers after they are received from the laboratory.

If you are a Dubuque water customer and are interested in volunteering for this important water quality program, please complete a short form to determine your eligibility.

Other Concerns

While the LCR rule applies to the City of Dubuque and all other water utilities, anyone can take part in the reduction of lead and copper in drinking water. The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act sets standards for: 

  • pipe,
  • plumbing fittings,
  • fixtures,
  • solder,  
  • and flux

For additional information, please contact the Water Department at 563-589-4291.