Drinking water leaving the Westerville Water Treatment Plant, and most other water plants, does not contain lead. Any lead that potentially ends up in drinking water comes from building service lines or internal plumbing. The most common source of lead is the solder that was used until 1986 to join copper pipes and as a component in faucets. When water that is corrosive comes in contact with lead-containing plumbing materials, some of the lead dissolves into the water. The longer the water sits stagnate in the plumbing, the greater the potential for lead in the water.
To reduce the potential of the building plumbing contributing lead to water, water treatment plants can make the water less corrosive by adjusting the water pH or adding a corrosion control chemical. To reduce the potential for lead contamination, Westerville adjusts the pH of the water and adds phosphate to inhibit corrosion. As a result, Westerville water is in compliance with EPA lead regulations.