MassDEP Lead & Copper Program

The Shrewsbury Water & Sewer Department collects residential water samples to be tested for lead and copper in cooperation with MassDEP and in line with the extensive protocols required to ensure the Town of Shrewsbury is providing safe drinking water. We are required to collect these samples twice each year and only homes constructed between 1983-1985 qualify.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) set the Lead Action Level[1] for lead in drinking water at 0.015 mg/l (or parts per million) and the Copper Action Level at 1.3 mg/l. Because lead may pose serious health risks, the EPA and MassDEP also set a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG)[2] for lead of zero. The MCLG for copper is 1.3 mg/l.

The Town’s results may be found here

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. Our public water system is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. More information on lead in drinking water and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at:

Tips to keep any potential lead and copper out of the water you drink:

  • Most importantly – Flushing your water is the simplest way to reduce exposure to lead. When your water has been sitting for several hours, flush the tap until the water feels cold before use. 
  • Never use hot water from the faucet for drinking or cooking especially when making baby formula.
  • Never boil water to remove lead or copper.  Boiling water for an extended time may make the lead or copper more concentrated.
  • Visit the web sites below for more tips on keeping potential lead and copper out of the water you drink. 

[1] The Action Level is the concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

[2] The Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) is the level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

For More Information:

  1. MassDEP Lead and Copper in drinking water:
  2. MassDEP Drinking Water Program Contact: and 617-292-5770
  3. MDPH Lead and Copper in Drinking Water FAQ and Quick Facts:
  4. CDC:
  5. USEPA:

If you have any questions regarding lead or copper in drinking water or your lead or copper sampling results, please feel free to contact the Water & Sewer Department at (508) 841-8502 or via email at