How to Test Your Home’s Water for Lead


I read the New York Times article “How New York Gets Its Water” a while ago. The end of the article described how you could order a free lead testing kit.

The EPA offers some guidance on how and when to obtain an in-home testing kit through your local water supplier. In New York City, residents can obtain one at no cost through 311.

For more information, visit, or call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

I read this article in the aftermath of the Flint water crisis and wanted to test my apartment’s drinking water. I filled out the online form, received a package in the mail containing two large plastic bottles, a pre-paid mailing label, and detailed instructions. The instructions said to fill one bottle with water after not using any faucet in my apartment for six hours. I filled the second bottle with water after having run the tap. After dropping the bottles now full of water into a mailbox, NYC’s Nureau of Water Supply sent me the results only week or so later.

We have received the results of your recent tap water lead test. Both samples were under the federal action level of 15 micrograms per liter (μg/L). Your specific results were:

First draw: 0 μg/L 1-2 minute flush: 0 μg/L