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Water Quality Division > Programs > Public Water Supply > Lead and Copper

The Lead and Copper Rule


The purpose of the lead and copper rule is to protect public health by minimizing lead and copper levels in drinking water. Because lead and copper in drinking water is mainly due to the corrosion of service lines and household plumbing, tap water samples are collected at kitchen or bathroom taps of residence and other buildings. Public health benefits include;

  • Reduction in risk of lead exposure, which can cause damage to the brain, red blood cells and kidneys, especially for young children.
  • Reduction in risk of copper exposure, which can cause stomach and intestinal distress, liver and kidney damage.

Monitoring Requirements

The number of required samples and frequency of monitoring is based on the population served by the water system, and its most recent rounds of lead and copper sample results.

Sample Results

Sample results are evaluated against an action level. The lead action level is exceeded if the concentration in more than 10% of samples is greater than 0.015 mg/L (i.e. the 90th percentile lead level is greater than 0.015 mg/L). The copper action level is exceeded if the concentration in more than 10% of samples is greater than 1.3 mg/L (i.e. the 90th percentile copper level is greater than 1.3 mg/L).

Reporting Requirements

Systems are required to notify the sample site residents of the lead sample results. They are also required to notify the state of both lead and copper results and provide proof that they notified the sample site residents of the lead sample results.

Sampling Procedure and Guidance
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is including Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sampling guidance along with PWS instructions and homeowner instructions. The PWS recommendations and guidance are to assist in your sampling events. These recommendations include directions on not conducting pre-stagnation flushing or aerator removal, and bottle configuration.

Sample Site Request Forms

Lead and copper sample site protocol is designed to identify residences and other locations most likely to have high levels of lead and/or copper. Sample sites used for lead and copper monitoring must be approved prior to sampling.

Community Water Systems (CWS)

Non-Transient Non-Community Water Systems (NTNC)

Sample Site Deactivation Form

Consumer Notification

Systems are required to notify the sample site residents of their lead results within 30 days of receipt of sample analysis. The result notification should include the lead results, an explanation of the health effects of lead, steps consumers can take to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water, contact information for the water system and the lead action level. Systems are also required to submit one (1) copy of a completed Consumer Notice of Lead Tap Results along with the Certification of Lead Tap Results Notification to DEQ.

Action Level Exceedance

An action level exceedance for lead occurs when a system’s 90th percentile level exceeds the lead action level of 0.015 mg/L; and an action level exceedance for copper occurs when a system’s 90th percentile level exceeds the copper action level of 1.3 mg/L. The actions listed below must be taken following an exceedance in order to remedy the problem.

Lead and/or Copper
Conduct water quality parameter (WQP) monitoring during each monitoring period a system is on standard 6-month monitoring following an exceedance. Conduct source water lead and copper monitoring. Following collection of these samples, in addition to standard lead and copper tap water monitoring, a system must submit an approvable optimal corrosion control treatment recommendation.

Begin delivering public education as soon as possible, but within 60 days of the lead action level exceedance.

More Information

To find detailed information on any of Oklahoma’s public water systems, including sample results, visit the Drinking Water Watch webpage at

For more information regarding the Lead and Copper Rule, please visit the EPA’s webpage at:

For more information on the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, and how to identify lead-free certification marks, please see the following EPA webpage:

For more information about EPA’s 3Ts Toolkit which explains voluntary lead sampling in schools and childcare facilities that aren’t their own public water supply, please visit the following EPA webpage:

Additional Resources

For more information about Lead and Copper, please contact Laurelin Hodgson.