Participate in our Lead and Copper Sampling Program

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection requires water utilities to perform lead and copper sampling in a certain number of customers’ homes who fit specific criteria on a routine basis. As part of our lead sampling program, we test the water at specific homes based upon year of home construction and service line materials. If you’re selected, you will receive a $50 credit on your water bill by successfully collecting a valid water sample and answering a few simple questions.  

Participation is voluntary. If selected, we do not need to enter your home or property. We’ll deliver a water sample kit to you with instructions so you can collect the sample. No water can be used in the home for at least 6 hours before the water sample is collected.

On average, it takes customers less than 15 minutes to collect the sample. Once completed, we’ll schedule a time to pick up your water sample. Another benefit of participating is that once we analyze your water sample, we’ll share the results with you.  

What type of home would qualify for this program?

Homes that meet the following criteria are eligible and are encouraged to submit a form below:

  • Single family home with a verified lead service line
  • Multi-family buildings with verified lead service
  • Certain single family with verified galvanized service line
  • Single family homes OR buildings with copper pipes with lead solder that were installed before February 1987.

NOTE: Homes or businesses that have an in-home water treatment device installed, such as a water softener or a whole-house filter, would NOT qualify to participate in this program. In addition, samples should NOT be taken at taps with a point-of-use filter. 

How Do I Sign Up to Participate?

If you would like to sign up to be considered for this program, please complete the form below.

Please note that not all applicants will be selected to participate. We will notify you in advance if you have been selected. We may also reach out to you if we need to verify your service line material:

How do I collect a water sample?

You will collect one liter of water from a kitchen or frequently used bathroom faucet after the water has sat unused for at least six hours. The best time to collect a water sample is first thing in the morning or after returning from work. Don’t forget to fill out the sampling form provided in your sampling kit 

Watch a video by the U.S. EPA to learn how to collect samples

IMPORTANT: Samples cannot be taken at taps with a point-of-use filter. 

How will I receive my credit?

To show our appreciation, we will give you a $50 credit on your water bill if you submit a valid water sample. The sample must be collected carefully following the sampling instructions provided with your water sample kit and the sample form must be filled out completely to be eligible for the $50 credit. 

When will I know my results?

We’ll analyze your water sample and contact you with the results when they are available. You can also view the results from samples we collected in your community from previous years on our annual water quality report.  

Lead and Copper Tap Sampling Frequently Asked Questions


If your property qualifies, we’ll test your water for lead, and we’ll provide you with the results of that testing. There are known health effects associated with lead levels above the drinking water standards so understanding those results can help you better reduce your potential exposure to lead. Plus, you will receive a $50 credit on your water bill. 

The frequency may vary depending on the water system. If your property is selected, we’ll provide you with more information on timing and frequency. 

Each public water system is required to collect a certain number of samples for each compliance monitoring period. Even if your property wasn’t selected this round, we will keep you on the list of potential candidates for testing in future years.  

We thank you for your contribution but understand that you may not wish to participate. If you change your mind after your location has been selected, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing Be sure to include the address where the sample was to be taken and indicate that you no longer wish to be included in the sampling program. Please include LCR Sampling Program” in the subject line. We’ll then remove you from future correspondence. 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to lead in drinking water can cause serious health effects in all age groups. Infants and children can have decreases in IQ and attention span. Lead exposure can lead to new learning and behavior problems or exacerbate existing learning and behavior problems. The children of women who are exposed to lead before or during pregnancy can have increased risk of these adverse health effects. Adults can have increased risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney or nervous system problems.

Lead pipes are a dull grey color and scratch easily revealing a shiny surface. Lead solder used to join copper pipes is a silver or grey color. To learn how to identify the material of your service line, visit our Pipe Material Information and Lead and Drinking Water pages.

You can also report your service line material to New Jersey American Water on this site.

Every year, we reach out to eligible homes and conduct water sampling through this program. However, we do not provide testing for lead for individual customers who request it. You can choose to have your water tested at your cost at a certified laboratory.  

Yes, this program is free for eligible homes enrolled in the program.

No. You do not need to own the property. Rental properties that meet the criteria are eligible to participate in the program.

You cannot see, smell or taste lead, and boiling water will not remove lead. Here are steps you can take to reduce your potential exposure if lead exists in your home plumbing. 

  1. Flush your taps. The longer the water lies dormant in your home’s plumbing, the more lead it might contain. If the water in your faucet has gone unused for more than 6 hours, flush the tap with cold water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before drinking or using it to cook. To conserve water, catch the running water and use it to water your plants. 
  1. Use cold water for drinking and cooking. Hot water has the potential to contain more lead than cold water. If hot water is needed for cooking, heat cold water on the stove or in the microwave. 
  1. Routinely remove and clean all faucet aerators.  
  1. Check to see if your interior plumbing or faucets contain lead and replace any that do. Look for the “Lead Free” label when replacing or installing plumbing fixtures. 
  1. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for replacing water filters in household appliances, such as refrigerators and ice makers, as well as home water treatment units and pitchers. Look for NSF 53 certified filters. 
  1. Flush after plumbing changes. Changes to your service line, meter, or interior plumbing may result in sediment, possibly containing lead, in your water supply. Remove the aerator from each faucet and run the water for 3 to 5 minutes. 

The need for a filter is a customer decision. If you choose to purchase a home filter, NSF International created a Consumer Guide to NSF Certified Lead Filtration Devices for Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water. For more information, visit Always consult the device manufacturer for information on treatment device maintenance and potential impacts to your drinking water or household plumbing.

Visit our More Lead Resources Page here for a list of additional resources. Customers are also encouraged to review our Annual Water Quality Report Card for more information about our water sources and test results.

Yes. The EPA’s lead standard is an action level that requires treatment modifications if lead test results exceed 15 parts per billion (ppb) in more than 10 percent of first draw samples taken from household taps.  

New Jersey American Water tests for lead in accordance with regulatory requirements. Results of these tests are included in your annual Water Quality Report, which is available online (scan QR code to the right). In addition, we take steps to reduce the potential of lead leaching from service lines and household plumbing into the water. We do this by managing the pH levels in the water leaving our treatment facilities and adding a corrosion inhibitor where needed.