August 3, 2022 — The City of South Bend Department of Public Works is inviting residents to be part of its sampling pool to test for lead and copper in drinking water. The City wants to encourage residents with homes built prior to 1986 to participate. The sampling will only take about five minutes to complete. Testing kits will be dropped off and picked up from the resident’s home.
The City distributes clean, safe drinking water to homes every day that meet all state and federal water quality standards. Water is lead-free when it leaves the City’s treatment plants, but it is possible for it to pick up lead particles from corrosion in service lines or plumbing fixtures as it flows into the home. The City is conducting this outreach to comply with the U.S. Environmental Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act that requires testing lead and copper levels in household drinking water every three years.
Residents can request their free lead and copper sampling kit by calling 311 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It is critical for residents to closely follow the instructions provided in the kit. A video explaining how to correctly complete the sampling can be viewed at southbendin.gov/LCRvideo. The sampling should be collected from the cold-water faucet in the kitchen that is used regularly for drinking or cooking but not softened or filtered. The sampling must occur when the water has not been used for at least six hours, such as first thing when you wake up or after being out of the house for the day. The sampling should not be collected if the water has not been used for more than 24 hours.