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Lead is harmful to health, especially for children and those who are pregnant. Elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems. Taking action to reduce exposure to lead can improve outcomes.

In Eugene, the main source of lead in drinking water comes from household plumbing. Read on to learn how you can reduce your risk of exposure. 

Explore this page: Facts about lead in Eugene | Reduce your risk of exposure | Know your lead levels | Other sources of lead | How EWEB is working to keep you safe | Additional Information

Facts about lead in Eugene’s drinking water

  1. There is no known lead in the EWEB system. For decades, EWEB has tested our water for lead. This testing shows that there is no lead in the water that enters the distribution system. In addition, we have reviewed records and inspected pipes and there are no known lead components in the EWEB-owned pipelines that deliver water to local homes and businesses.

  2. Your household plumbing could contain harmful lead. Lead solder was often used in homes built or plumbed with copper pipes before 1986. Lead is also common in brass faucets and fixtures manufactured before 2014. If your household plumbing contains lead, it can dissolve into water before it comes out of your tap.

Reduce your risk of lead exposure

There are several steps you can take if you are worried about your risk of lead exposure from household plumbing.

Recommendations include:

  • Running your water to flush out lead. Before drinking or cooking, let your water run until it becomes as cold as possible and reaches a steady temperature. If the water has undergone recent use, such as showering or running the dishwasher, this could take as little as 30 seconds. If the water has been sitting for six hours or more it could take several minutes.

  • Using cold, fresh water for drinking, cooking or making baby formula. Hot water dissolves lead more quickly. Always start with cold water and heat as needed.

  • Cleaning your aerator every few months to remove any particles. Faucet aerators can trap particles that contain lead.

  • Installing low lead fixtures. As of January 4, 2014, all pipes, fittings and fixtures must contain less than 0.25% lead. Start by replacing faucets commonly used for drinking.

  • Using a water filter. Contact National Sanitation Foundation International at 1-800-673-8010 or visit for information about certified water filters. Follow all filter maintenance instructions to keep your water safe.

Know your lead levels

If you suspect your home may have lead components, consider taking the following actions:

Other sources of lead

There are many sources of lead in the environment including in dust, soil, air, food, water, paint, cosmetics and other products. Visit the Oregon Health Authority's Lead Poisoning in Oregon info page to learn how you can prevent lead exposure in all its forms.

How EWEB is working to keep you safe

Corrosion control

EWEB has taken a proactive approach since the EPA first identified lead as a contaminant of interest. One of our primary tools is optimizing the pH of the water we deliver to your home to minimize corrosion in pipes and household plumbing. EWEB has always met all state and federal lead requirements thanks in part to our corrosion control program.

Lead service line inventory

In 2023, EWEB completed an inventory of hundreds of randomly-selected service lines to comply with a new rule from the Oregon Health Authority. No lead service lines were found. This inventory gives us a 95% confidence level that there are no customer-owned lead service lines in our system. If your home was built before 1986, you may want to verify the type of piping that you have running from your water meter to and through your home. Visit this website for a step-by-step tutorial:

Where can you get additional information

You can visit:

US Environmental Protection Agency

Oregon Health Authority