NRWA Statement on Lead Contamination


There are approximately 52,000 community drinking water supplies in the nation, and 92% serve populations of 10,000 or less. Rural and small water systems do an excellent job in complying with all of the regulatory requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, including compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). The LCR is one of EPA’s most complex water regulations, and all water systems must comply with these standards.

The National Rural Water Association (NRWA) and its state association affiliates provide compliance training and technical assistance to approximately 100,000 rural and small water system personnel annually, including training and assistance on meeting lead and copper standards. Our expert staff has never encountered system personnel advocating a plan to intentionally skirt a rule or requirement. The men and women of Rural Water are deeply tied to our communities – our friends, family and our children all drink the water we produce. If someone did intentionally violate a rule, change a record or falsify a test result, they could face numerous penalties, including criminal prosecution.

The United States enjoys one of the safest tap water supplies in the world, due to the hard work and dedication of certified system operations specialists. The motto of the rural and small water system industry is “Quality on Tap – Our Commitment, Our Profession.” It is a commitment we all take very seriously, not just because of the serious regulatory consequences of failing to comply with standards, but because of the personal conviction we have, knowing how our water impacts our families and our communities.