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Home Owner Tools

Testing

Customers Can Get a Free Lead Test  —  DC Water offers annual free lead testing for residential and commercial customers. Lead test kits are provided to both single and multi-family residences. If you are a tenant or owner/occupant of a unit, you may request a test kit directly from DC Water, or send a letter to the owner of the property to request a test kit. There are specific District laws requiring a property owner to provide lead test kits to tenants.

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If you have any questions, contact the Drinking Water Division at (202) 612-3440 or email leadtest@dcwater.com

Water Filters

You can reduce or eliminate your exposure to lead in tap water by drinking or using only tap water that has been run through a certified filter. Various types of water treatment devices are certified for household use. These devices can remove a broad range of contaminants from water - including lead - and minimize taste and odor issues. You should choose the type of filter that best fits your needs. Filters must be certified to meet NSF 53 for removal of lead and we recommend a filter with antimicrobial protection to minimize bacterial growth on the filter.

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Flushing

Flush cold taps when household water when water hasn’t been used for several hours. Run cold water taps for two minutes before using water for drinking and cooking. When water sits in your pipes for long periods of time, water quality can decline. To conserve water, other household water usage activities are effective methods for flushing pipes and allowing water from the distribution system to enter household pipes. This includes laundry, showering, flushing the toilet and running the dishwasher.

Cold Water Use

Do not use hot tap water for drinking and cooking. Hot water dissolves contaminants and may contain metals, sediment and bacteria that build up in the water heater. If you have household lead sources, hot water can cause lead to release in your drinking water.

Household Plumbing

Replace old household plumbing and potential lead sources. Replace galvanized plumbing with copper pipes and install "lead-free" plumbing fixtures that contain 0.25 percent lead or less. After installation, flush cold water taps for five minutes once a day for three days. Read our guide to identifying household plumbing for more information.

Faucet Aerators

Routinely clean faucet aerators and replace them as needed. Sediment and metals can collect in the aerator screen located at the tip of your faucets.