Lead In Drinking Water

Decades of analysis have proven there is no lead in the drinking water Hilton Head PSD provides to its customers. Lead is not present in the PSD’s groundwater sources, nor is it found in the drinking water purchased wholesale from the mainland utility. Lead in drinking water generally comes from private-side pipes or plumbing rather than the drinking water source. There are no lead water pipes in the PSD’s public water distribution system. Most of the PSD’s water distribution system, as well as most customers’ private-side water laterals, are plastic (HDPE or PVC). Lead piping was banned by the federal government in 1986. Beaufort County banned lead piping even earlier, in 1979. 

Both the PSD and our wholesale water provider, Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA), have treatment processes to prevent lead or copper in pipes from reaching drinking water. At our treatment plants, we feed a corrosion control product. This product forms a coating on the interior of the pipe to prevent the leaching of lead into drinking water from the pipe or plumbing. We use a product best suited to our water. The PSD also controls and monitors pH, the acidity of water, to further ensure the water is non-corrosive.

The PSD currently is in the process of analyzing all customer water connections to confirm the pipe material on both the public- and private-sides at the meter locations. As of December 2023, we have analyzed the majority of connections and have found no lead piping. 

If you are interested in having your water sampled and tested for lead, please email the PSD at [email protected] or call (843) 681-5525 to schedule an appointment. All samples collected are sent to a certified laboratory for testing. Our Water Quality Laboratory staff also is available to discuss the results and answer questions.

You also can use this DIY online tool created by NPR to investigate if you have a lead service line. https://apps.npr.org/find-lead-pipes-in-your-home/en/#intro

Learn more about lead in drinking water at the U.S.EPA’s website: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water

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