Lead and Drinking Water

Metropolitan Utilities District is committed to providing information and resources to customers about lead and drinking water. This site includes information about water quality, treatment and testing, and resources to learn more about your water.

Our Water

Lead is NOT present in the District’s source (raw) water, the finished water that leaves our water treatment plants, or in the water in our distribution system (water mains).

However, some M.U.D. customers may own a water service line made of lead or have plumbing that includes lead solder. Water service lines made of lead may be found in areas of Omaha and other communities on our system in homes built prior to the 1940s. Lead can enter the drinking water through the corrosion of plumbing materials. Those water service lines are the homeowner’s responsibility. For more information on what is your responsibility and what is the District’s responsibility, please view the What’s Yours, What’s Ours video at left.

Treatment /Corrosion Control

M.U.D. produces stable, non-corrosive water, to minimize any potential of lead leaching from plumbing fixtures and solder. The District conducts monthly water quality tests for lead and it is NOT detected in source (raw) water, in the finished water that leaves our water treatment plants, or in the water in our distribution system (water mains).

Free Testing Offered

Customers who have water service lines made of lead (or the composition is unknown) installed before 1940 can request M.U.D. to test for lead. To request a test, call Customer Service at 402.554.6666. M.U.D.’s Water Quality Lab conducts the tests and submits results to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Some customers may have received a letter from M.U.D. regarding free testing. A copy of the “Water Testing Letter for LSL” is available by clicking the link at the top of this page.

State Testing Offered for a Small Fee

Nebraskans can order a lead in water test from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Environmental Lab for a small fee. To order a lead in water test, call 402.471.2122 or visit the Public Health Environmental Lab website.

Tips to Reduce Your Risk

M.U.D.’s water treatment is designed to not corrode plumbing fixtures, however there are steps you can take to further reduce the risk:

  • Only use water from the cold tap for cooking and drinking.
  • If the tap has not been used in more than 30 minutes, then flush water through the faucet for 30 seconds up to 2 minutes before using it.
  • Remove and clean the faucet aerators (also called screens) on a regular basis. To clean the faucet screen of debris:
    1. Unscrew the screen.
    2. Separate the individual parts.
    3. Remove any sediment (mineral or rust build up) on the screen and other parts. If necessary, soak the parts in white vinegar for a few minutes and scrub with a brush.
    4. Reassemble the screen parts and reattach to the faucet.

For more information on how to reduce the risk of lead in drinking water, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Water Quality

As a customer of the District, you receive a high quality product that meets every federal and state standard for drinking water. To ensure tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribes regulations to limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Drinking water may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk.


Water Quality Report

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires public water supply systems to prepare annual water quality reports for customers to provide accurate, comprehensive information about their water supply. View M.U.D.’s current consumer confidence report.

Other Useful Links

Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for additional information on lead. EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline is 800.426.4791.

Visit the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for information on lead.

The American Water Works Association created this video on water quality and lead.

M.U.D. has an agreement with Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance to test the drinking water in homes where there is a concern for lead.

Lead and Copper Rule

In 1991, the EPA published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water to protect public health. The regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule. The EPA revised the regulation in 2000, 2007 and 2021. Congress has also set limits on the amount of lead that can be used in plumbing products. The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes and brass or bronze faucets and fixtures.

The Rule requires water systems to monitor drinking water at customer taps. If lead concentrations exceed an action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) or copper concentrations exceed an action level of 1.3 parts per million (ppm) in more than 10% of customer taps sampled, the system must undertake additional actions to control corrosion. If the action level for lead is exceeded, the system must also inform the public about steps they should take to protect their health and may have to replace lead service lines under their control.

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) performs all of the testing for M.U.D.’s compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule. M.U.D.’s role is to deliver the sample kits to the customers, collect them and send them to NDEE for testing. M.U.D. is required to sample for lead and copper every three years. The most recent round of lead and copper testing was completed in fall of 2022. The 90th percentile (action level) was 7.59 ppb, well below the regulatory limit of 15 ppb.

For more information, check the EPA’s Understanding the Lead and Copper Rule.