EWG's Tap Water Database

copper pipes

What About Copper?

East Berkshire Fire District 1

According to an EWG analysis of 2015 test results, this utility detected excessive copper in water served to some customers. Under the federal Lead and Copper Rule, if copper concentrations exceed an action level of 1.3 parts per million in more than 10 percent of customer taps sampled, the water utility must apply corrosion control measures to minimize copper leaching from the pipes.

Number of copper samples taken in 2015: 20

Highest level detected in 2015: 4.2 ppm

Levels of copper detected

Copper in tap water primarily comes from copper pipes. Water utilities are required to sample water at customers’ homes to determine if excessive copper might be a problem. The amount of copper in water allowed under the federal “action level” of 1.3 parts per million is unsafe for infants and individuals with a copper metabolism defect. Water directly from the tap, especially hot water, should not be used to prepare infant formula because hot water leaches more copper from the pipes.

The state of California established a public health goal for copper at 0.3 parts per million to protect infants and children from the gastrointestinal effects of excess copper. For more information, read EWG's report about copper in tap water.