Environment, Health and Safety Manual - Chapter 08.01: Low Lead Requirement - Procedure for Lead Contaminant Testing in New Potable Water Devices


Environment, Health and Safety Manual - Chapter 08.01: Low Lead Requirement - Procedure for Lead Contaminant Testing in New Potable Water Devices



To ensure that new potable end use devices and newly installed piping do not leach contaminates into water and ensure that new plumbing lines have been properly flushed and seasoned to prevent contamination.

Scope of Applicability

Construction Management, and contractors working on behalf of the University for projects that involve the installation of new potable water devices.


  1. Notify the Department of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) after the installation of all new potable water devices and when the project is ready to proceed with the flushing procedure. Provide the building name and the site contact.
  2. Flush each end point device at the highest flow on the cold side only for 10 minutes to clear debris. If the building has booster pumps, ensure these pumps are running at the highest pressure that the building will use during normal operation.
  3. For devices with aerators:
    1. Remove aerators from devices that have them before starting the 10-minute flush on that device.
    2. Flush at highest flow without aerators for 10 minutes.
    3. Clean aerators and replace after the 10-minute flush.
  4. Next, post paper signs in English and Spanish to indicate that the devices are to be left on for flushing.
  5. Set all potable devices to run cold water only at low flow (a flow as low as two (2) drips per second is enough). Run the water for a continuous 24 hours.
  6. After 24 hours, restore all devices to the normal operating mode.
  7. Notify EHS when the flushing is complete.
  8. EHS will collect water samples from each device and send the samples for independent laboratory analysis. Please allow 7 days for the results.
  9. The flushing procedure must be repeated for devices with detectable lead concentrations. Two failed attempts will result in changing the device, followed by resampling. This process will be repeated until there is no detectable lead.

Items to consider during flushing

  • During flushing, occasionally, check the devices to ensure that flow is maintained continuously and that the aerators have not plugged up. If plugged, remove aerators, clean with water, replace and continue flushing.
  • Especially at the start of the extended flushing, verify that all drains are operating properly with no overflow.
  • Control water flow at the devices themselves and not the shut off valves preceding the devices.
  • For some devices, tape or some other method may be needed to hold the device handles/paddles in the “on” position.
  • Consider unplugging the compressors to water cooling devices before running continuously to avoid burnout.
  • Determine if metered devices can be set to operate in a continuous flow mode.
  • For devices that mix hot and cold automatically, flush as normally dispensed at a low flow.
  • Do not use shut-off valves under sinks and fountains to reduce water flow.


End use potable water device: Any water device that is intended for human consumption (i.e., bathroom or kitchen sink and water fountains).

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Primary Contacts

Occupational & Environmental Field Hygienist
Department of Environment, Health & Safety
Phone 919-259-0013

Back to Chapter 08.01: Low Lead Requirement - Policy on Lead Contaminant Testing in New Potable Water Devices

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Article ID: 132572
Thu 4/15/21 12:05 AM
Mon 7/4/22 3:01 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
11/08/2019 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Executive Director
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
11/08/2019 12:00 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
09/01/2026 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
11/08/2019 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Environment, Health and Safety