Residents Can Test for Lead in Drinking Water on State's Dime

The state has launched a $1.5 million program enabling residents to test for lead in their drinking water free of charge. 

The New York State Department of Health announced the pilot program last week. Residents whose drinking water comes from either private wells or a public water source have access to this testing to protect their health. Lead is a toxic metal that is particularly harmful to the developing brain and nervous system of children under 6,  health officials said.

Residential tap water testing consists of two 250-milliliter samples per house: a first-draw sample and a flush sample. Residents will collect the samples and send them to one of the participating laboratories. The samples must be sent in within 30 days of receiving the kit.

The laboratory will analyze the samples and mail the results to the resident within a month of receiving the samples. 

Residents can sign up on the department's website. The sample kits will be sent by mail and include postage to send them to the laboratory.