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The main UNC-Chapel Hill campus receives its tap water from the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA). OWASA’s water supply originates as rainfall within the Cane Creek and University Lake watersheds.

Sept. 26 Update on Lead in Campus Drinking Water

September 26, 2022

In September 2022, the University performed lead testing in Wilson Library. Following tests that found detectable levels of lead, one additional drinking fountain and 14 sinks were removed from service in Wilson Library. The lead in the water is likely due to the components in the fountains and sinks. Other drinking fountains in the building were tested by EHS, showed no detectable levels of lead and remain in operation.

Environment, Health and Safety is prioritizing testing fixtures that have similar components to those that have tested positive for lead or are of a similar age. When we test a fixture, we remove it from service until the results of the test come back. If there is any level of lead detected, the fixture is removed from service completely and the process to replace that water source begins.

Below is a list of the buildings that have fixtures that have detectable amounts of lead as well as the notifications that were sent to the occupants.

Building Notifications

Contacts

General questions about the ongoing investigation can be directed to Environment, Health and Safety at 919-962-5507.

If you are an employee and have further health-related concerns, please contact the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic at 919-966-9119.

If you are a student and have concerns, please contact Campus Health at 919-966-2281.

If you are a visitor or community member and have concerns, please contact your health care provider.

Other Resources

Previous Updates

Lead in Drinking Water Regulations

Lead in campus drinking water is attributed to three sources: Lead pipe, lead solder and leaded brass fittings. Lead pipe and lead solder were banned in 1986 by amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Also, the USEPA Lead and Copper Rule requires public water utilities (OWASA) to include corrosion control in their water treatment protocol sufficient to prevent lead leaching from pipes, solder or fittings. The rule requires OWASA to test a representative sample of the community periodically to ensure compliance. OWASA has passed all Lead and Copper Rule tests. OWASA states that there are no known lead service lines in their territory.

Lead Water Testing for New Construction

In the past, UNC-Chapel Hill has experienced elevated lead levels in drinking water due to the brass fittings, specifically, newer fittings installed during recent renovations and in newly constructed buildings. Typically, the problem disappears within six months of normal use. As a result, UNC-Chapel Hill has developed a flushing protocol upon the completion of renovations or new construction to reduce the levels below the National Primary Drinking Water Standard before the areas or buildings are occupied.

Water fountain Sept. 26 Update on Lead in Campus Drinking Water

September 26, 2022

The University has performed additional lead testing in Wilson Library and additional buildings on campus.

Categories: Lead in Campus Drinking Water


Water fountain Sept. 21 Update on Lead in Campus Drinking Water

September 21, 2022

The University has performed additional lead testing in Wilson Library and additional buildings on campus.

Categories: Lead in Campus Drinking Water


Water fountain Detectable Lead Levels Found in Three Campus Drinking Fountains

September 1, 2022

The University has removed three drinking fountains from service in Wilson Library after tests found detectable levels of lead in the water due to the components in those fountains.

Categories: Lead in Campus Drinking Water