Skip to content

Groundwater Contamination: Copper


Detecting and Treating Copper in Water

What is it?

Copper is a reddish metal that occurs naturally in rock, soil, water, sediment, and air.

Where does it come from?

Copper levels may increase significantly if corrosive water comes in contact with copper plumbing and copper-containing fixtures in the water distribution system. This normally occurs if corrosive water remains motionless in the plumbing system for six hours or more. Copper in drinking water increases with the corrosivity of the water and the length of time it remains in contact with the plumbing. Higher copper levels have sometimes been noted in new homes constructed with copper plumbing.

Is copper a health hazard?

While copper is an essential nutrient, excessive levels in drinking water can lead to health concerns. Elevated copper levels may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea and vomiting, and in extreme cases, long-term exposure could contribute to liver or kidney damage. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set an action level for copper in drinking water at 1.3 parts per million (ppm).

When should I test?

Regular testing for copper in your drinking water is advisable, especially if you notice a metallic taste or blue-green stains on plumbing fixtures.

If my water tests positive, what should I do next?

If copper levels exceed the recommended standards, taking corrective actions, such as installing water treatment devices or replacing plumbing components, may be necessary to ensure water safety.

The Right Solution Starts with an Accurate Test

man holding flask while testing water

U.S. Water offers comprehensive well water testing services through itsWisconsin state-certified water testing lab. This ensures the most accurate testing and, with our test facility onsite, you are guaranteed a fast turnaround time. In addition to our basic analysis, we offer a full range of certified water tests and well inspection services.

Not sure which product you need?