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Drinking Water Testing
Tri-Tech can send a technician to your location to collect drinking water samples for testing of lead and other contaminants. This is ideal when only one water fixture or source is present (see below for a discussion of the variables involved when multiple plumbing types or water sources are involved).
Lead and Copper in Drinking Water Testing
Based on the highly publicized reports of lead in drinking water found in the cities of Flint and Detroit, Tri-Tech is pleased to offer drinking water testing and assessments.
Drinking Water Assessments
The City of Detroit recommends that certain child care facilities and other target sensitive receptor facilities have independent drinking water assessments. An Assessment goes beyond merely collecting water samples for testing at a lab. An assessment involves a building inspection and survey of the plumbing system to identify the age and number of distinct water source types. Sampling is conducted based on an assessment of the specific individual water sources conducted. This is to ensure proper identification and testing of proper suspect plumbing systems. Without a proper inspection, drinking water could be sampled from a fixture served by newer Pex (polyethylene) piping rather than copper piping with lead soldering or old lead alloy pipes. Pipes and soldering can be sometimes be tested by XRF or other means to determine the presence of lead and recommend corrective actions accordingly if necessary.

Types of Samples
First Draw-intended to assess the lead originating from the fixture and local piping

First Flush- a 15 to 30-second flush sample is intended to assess the lead associated with the building's plumbing system.

Baseline- a 5 minute flush sample intended to assess the lead associated with the municipal service lines and the source.

Target sample- to sample a particular segment of a plumbing system usually involves turning off one or more valves to collect a sample (e.g. to sample water that was sitting in a hot-water tank).

Cold water- cold-water is representative for common drinking purposes.

Hot water- hot-water typically contains higher levels of lead and should be tested in unusual circumstances where hot-water may be drawn for cooking purposes.

Copper- since copper is a regulated contaminant that sometimes co-occurs with lead contamination, particularly with copper plumbing, it is common to include copper in the lab analyses as it doesn't add much additional to the cost.

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Proper lead in water testing involves understanding and testing distinct sources separately:

  • lead service pipes
  • copper lines with lead soldering
  • brass fixtures
  • water coolers with lead soldering

In addition, sometimes it is necessary to test the background level of lead originating from the municipal source (a source can be compliant if less than 10% of samples fail the action level of 15 ppb).

The Lead Contamination Control Act of 1988 authorized EPA to survey drinking water cooler manufacturers and self-report the use of lead for the purposes of an inventory of coolers that were not lead safe. The manufacturers Halsey-Taylor, EBCo and Sunroc were generally cooperative in identifying older model units with lead-lined tanks or solders.