Federal Lead and Copper Rule Effective March 16 by ACWA Staff Jan 15, 2021 Water News The recently finalized federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) will officially go into effect on March 16. The Environmental Protection Agency finalized the LCR last month but delayed publishing the rule in the Federal Register until this week. Publication in the Federal Register triggers a 60-day countdown until the rule goes in effect. This is the first significant update to regulations governing lead in drinking water in nearly 30 years. The final rule maintains the federal action level for lead in drinking water at 15 parts per billion (ppb), the point at which water systems must begin replacing lead service lines. It adds a trigger level of 10 ppb that requires water systems to reassess their water treatment processes and potentially add corrosion-control measures. The rule also requires water utilities to notify customers within 24 hours of system-wide lead concentrations exceeding action levels, requires utilities to replace 3% of lead service lines (previously 7%) in communities where high lead levels are discovered, and mandates testing in elementary schools and child care facilities for the first time at the national level. ACWA regulatory advocates will be working with the State Water Resources Control Board on how the new federal regulation will be implemented in California.