Lead & Drinking Water
Do I have a lead service line?
Lead is almost never present when water flows from the treatment facility and there are no lead pipes in our distribution system (the water mains running beneath the streets). More information can be found in our annual water quality reports.
While there is no lead in Troy’s water supply and distribution system, older homes (typically those built before the 1940s) may have lead in their water through two sources:
- Water Service Lines, comprising the pipe that connects a building to the water system. Ownership of the service line is split between the city and the property owner.
- Interior Plumbing, comprising the pipes, fitting, and fixtures inside the building. Interior plumbing is the responsibility of the property owner.
If present, lead in water service lines, interior plumbing, fittings, or fixtures can dissolve, or particles can break off into water and end up at the tap. Elevated lead levels have been detected in homes with lead service lines; see our most recent Notice to Residents on Elevated Lead Levels (PDF). Lead in drinking water, although rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning, can significantly increase a person's total lead exposure. More information can be found in our FAQs on Lead Service Lines (PDF).
What is Troy doing about lead in drinking water?
- Water Service Line Inventory. Troy is developing an inventory of all the service lines in the city. You can help by identifying the material of your water service line and submitting your findings to the city. You may also ask DPU to check the material of your water service line by calling 518-237-0343. Whether your service is copper, lead, or something else, we want to hear from you. If you’ve already submitted your results, thank you!
- Lead Service Line Replacement Program. The Department of Public Utilities will be scheduling lead service line replacements beginning spring 2023 in conjunction with annual paving and resurfacing work.
- Water Quality Testing. Troy can test a limited amount of water services for the presence of lead at no cost to you. While this service is provided free of charge, the homeowner or tenant must be responsible for ensuring that the proper procedure is followed. If you wish to take advantage of this free testing, please contact our Water Laboratory at (518) 237-0343. Testing is also available through New York State's Free Tap Water Testing program.
- Corrosion Control. To prevent lead from dissolving into water from lead service lines or home plumbing, Troy adjusts the water’s chemistry at the treatment plant. This process is known as corrosion control. We sample water at homes considered to be high risk to ensure our corrosion control remains effective. In the latest sampling conducted in the second half of 2022, DPU had an exceedance where 27 of the 71 samples taken were above the action level for lead. More information can be found in the February 20, 2023 public notice.
Actions You Can Take
Despite our use of corrosion control treatment and the testing of tap water from select households, lead levels can be high in some homes and buildings due to lead-based plumbing components or other factors. To find out whether you need to take action in your home:
- Use our step by step instructions to identify the material of your water service line and submit your results to DPU.
- Learn more on how to Reduce Your Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water.
Contact the Department of Public Utilities with any questions at 518-237-0343.
What Is Lead?
Lead is a heavy metal found throughout the environment in lead-based paints, air, soil, household dust, food and water. Lead can pose a significant risk to your health if too much lead enters your body. The greater risk is to young children and pregnant women.