Lead Testing

The City of Columbia does perform water quality testing for individual customers if requested. The most common test is for possible lead contamination. Call +1 (803) 545-3300 to request this testing.

Avoiding Lead in Drinking Water: Elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Some City water customers may have elevated concentrations of lead in their drinking water. The primary sources of the lead are:

  • Lead pipes
  • Lead-based solder used to join copper pipes
  • Brass and chrome plated brass faucets used in household plumbing.

The City of Columbia is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components.

Water that sits near lead has the potential to become contaminated. The longer the water sits, the more lead it can pick up. If water has been sitting in your lines for several hours before you use it, flush your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using your water for drinking or cooking.

Other Testing

The City of Columbia routinely tests water quality at hundreds of sites every month. If you would like to request testing for any parameters other than lead, such as fluoride, chlorine or bacteria, please call Customer Care at +1 (803) 545-3300. Customer Care will submit a service request to the City’s drinking water laboratory.

Columbia Water works hard to keep your drinking water safe. Occasionally, though, we experience problems with the system that require us to contact you either through a Boil Water Advisory or a Boil Water Notice. For more information on these, visit About Boil Water Advisories.

PFAS – What You Need to Know

In 2020, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) conducted testing of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water systems across the state, including the City of Columbia’s two drinking water treatment plants at Lake Murray and the Columbia Canal. Click here to see the results of the testing.

Consumer Confidence Reports

The City’s DHEC-certified laboratory performs more than 200,000 analyses each year to insure that the water the City supplies to its customers meets all EPA and DHEC standards at all stages of the treatment process and at hundreds of points throughout the City’s distribution system. The City also conducts voluntary testing for microbial contaminants. Details can be found in the City’s Consumer Confidence Reports. You can also obtain a copy by picking one up at 1136 Washington Street or by contacting +1 (803) 545-3300.

2020 CCR

2020 CCR in Spanish