The EPA recently announced next steps to strengthen the regulatory framework on lead in drinking water. This includes steps to find and replace all the lead water service lines in the distribution system of every water system in the US, including the service lines that connect your home to the City water main.
Are You In the Survey Area?
The Lead Survey area is outlined in the Blue Color in the Map. Homes in the survey area are believed to be more likely to have lead or galvanized water services due to the average age of the homes in this area and/or the material of the City Water Main.
Use any of the following search methods to verify if your home is in the Lead Survey area:
- Click the grey "Find Address" search bar above and type in an address
- Click anywhere within the map
- Click on the "Use current location" box at the bottom of this page (Note you will need to allow the browser to have access to your location)
- BASEMENT The incoming water service in your home can either come from the basement floor or from within the basement wall.
- CRAWLSPACE If you have a crawlspace, the water service line should route through your foundation and enter from the floor.
- SLAB If your home is on a slab, the incoming water service should come up through the main floor (typically in a utility closet).
Lead in drinking water
Learn more about lead, its health effects, and what we're doing to comply with the EPA's regulations.
What is lead?
Lead is a common naturally occurring metallic element that can be found in air, soil, and water. It is also a powerful toxin that is harmful to human health. Lead was commonly used in gasoline and paint until the 1970s and is still sometimes found in products such as ceramics, batteries, ammunition, and cosmetics. Lead has historically been used in plumbing because of its pliability and resistance to leaks up until the last 50 years when the risk to public health was more recognized and measures taken to limit its use.
Lead in drinking water
Lead rarely occurs naturally in water supplies such as rivers and lakes. Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and household plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome plated brass faucets, and in some cases, pipes made of lead that connect your house to the water main (service lines). Federal laws passed in 1986 and 2014 reduced the amount of lead that can be used in plumbing materials to 0.25% of the wetted surface, but did not require replacement of existing plumbing or services containing lead.
Potential health effects of lead
Lead can cause health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain to lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults
EPA regulatory changes for drinking water
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first established a lead and copper rule in 1991 to help reduce exposure and associated health effects from lead in drinking water. EPA revised the rule in 2021, requiring water service providers across the country to determine where lead pipes exist in their systems, including the pipes on the customer side, by 2024.
What is the City of Bardstown Water Department doing to meet these requirements?
The City is in the process of inventorying all of our infrastructure, including customers’ service line materials that are connected to the public system. The City has also developed a Survey customers can use to report if they have lead or galvanized service lines. Identifying where lead or galvanized metal pipes exist on the customer side can help the City determine where lead may exist on the water system side. In the future, the City will share the pipe inventory online and provide information to customers who potentially have lead or galvanized metal on the private, property owner side.
Where can I find more information about lead in drinking water?