Jump to main content.

Corrosion Control Research

This page provides detailed information related to on-going and planned research related to corrosion control for District of Columbia drinking water. Please check back often for updates and additional information. For a general update on lead in DC drinking water, please see the home page.

Background on Corrosion Research

According to the most recent information available, the previously elevated levels of lead in District of Columbia drinking water were due to increased water corrosivity, and were aggravated in some homes by the presence of lead service lines. The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA), the agency responsible for the distribution of drinking water in the District of Columbia, the Washington Aqueduct (operated by the Army Corps of Engineers), the agency responsible for treating drinking water in D.C., and EPA recognize the need for continuing research into corrosion control in light of previous lead action level exceedances in the District of Columbia.

Technical Expert Working Group

DC WASA, the Aqueduct, and EPA continue to work with subcontractors and other Federal and D.C.-area agencies in a Technical Expert Working Group (TEWG).

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.


TEWG conference call notes (PDF's):







Top of page

Laboratory and Pilot-scale Research by DC Water Utilities

Pipe loops

Both DC WASA and Washington Aqueduct maintain “pipe loops” at their facilities to examine the effects of treated water on sections of excavated lead service lines.  The water running through the sections of lead service line is sampled approximately weekly.  Updates on pipe loop operation and lead levels in pipe loops can be found in the TEWG conference call notes on this page.

Lead profiles

In addition to the required lead tap sampling and the pipe loop studies, DC WASA sometimes samples at homes to determine which part of the plumbing between the water main and the tap is contributing to elevated lead concentrations. Lead profiling is a type of sampling that collects each liter of water from the tap, through the home's plumbing system, and out through the service line to the water main.

Additional Studies

An Analysis of the Correlation Between Lead Released from Galvanized Iron Piping and the Contents of Lead in Drinking Water (2009) Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Contribution of Service Line and Plumbing Fixtures to Lead and Copper Rule Compliance Issues (2008) Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Please see the Archive section of the Related Links page for …

Interim Optimal Corrosion Control Report (March 2007)
Galvanic/Grounding Currents Report (November 2006)
Washington Aqueduct/CH2M Hill Pipe Loop Test Plan (August 2004)
Report of Impacts of Zinc Orthophosphate on the Environment (July 2004)
Report of Impacts of Zinc Orthophosphate on Wastewater Treatment (September 2005)

Top of page


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.