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City of Royal Oak, MI

203 S Troy St, Royal Oak, MI, 48067, US

Drinking Water Concerns


Answers to many frequently asked questions regarding drinking water can be found at

Please take a few minutes to review this site.


I reviewed the website.

I called the 'Lead Testing Hotline' at 248-246-3999.

My question or concern is:

How do I know if I have a lead water service line?

National Public Radio (NPR) has created a simple tool to determine the material of your water service line. 

If you cannot use the NPR tool for some reason, you will be able to upload photographs and someone from the Department of Public Services will be able to help you determine the material your water service line is made of.

Click here to get started.

What is the city doing about this issue?

The city has multiple strategies for working on this issue, which include:

Sharing information. Through this advisory and other community engagement efforts, the city is committed to sharing information that can help residents understand sources of lead in tap water, its potential health effects, and how to reduce exposure to it.

Increasing sampling. The city will double its community sampling efforts over the next year in order to provide additional information to the state.

Locating lead. In order to build an accurate inventory of lead service lines, the Department of Public Services is encouraging homeowners to report their service line materials through an online form. The online form can be found at

Removing lead. Starting next year, the city will begin replacing lead service lines at a rate of 7% per year.

What does this “Action Level” exceedance and advisory mean?

Per the Lead and Copper Rule of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, the city is required to periodically sample a number of water taps throughout its system for lead concentration levels. In 2018, the sampling protocol for this routine sampling changed to require multiple samples at each sample location and to exclusively target locations served by lead service lines. The intention of this change was to better detect lead.

According to the rule, if approximately 10% of sites sampled indicate lead concentrations of 15 parts-per-billion (ppb) or greater, the city is required to:

  • advise water customers of the results
  • provide tips on how to reduce lead exposure
  • increase community-wide sampling

Eight of the 30 locations tested during the most recent monitoring period exceeded the 15 ppb ‘Action Level’ threshold, triggering the current advisory. The city’s 90th percentile value for lead concentrations among sites tested was 23 ppb.

Can my home be part of the community-wide sampling plan?

The Department of Public Services already has a list of sampling locations it uses for compliance testing. To the extent possible, the sampling rules require the city to resample previous sites during each monitoring period. Therefore, the department is limited in its ability to add additional locations.

By submitting your service line inspection results on the city’s website, you’ll be added to our records. Should additional sites be needed for testing, staff will seek volunteers from this list, in needed.

To determine if your home has a lead water service line please go to:

How can I protect myself from lead in water?

There are several simple things homeowners can do to reduce lead exposure in drinking water.

Flush your water before consuming it. Flushing your water when it hasn’t been used for more than several hours is a simple way to reduce lead exposure. That’s because lead can enter water when in prolonged contact with plumbing, fittings, and fixtures that contain lead. Flush the cold water according to the following guidelines:

  • lead service line -> 5 minutes
  • copper/other service line -> 30 seconds to 2 minutes

Clean aerators on faucets. Particulate lead can build up on the inside of faucet aerators. Periodically removing these and rinsing away any accumulated debris can eliminate a possible lead source.

Consider using a filter. Read the label and make sure it meets NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction.

Inspect your service line and report it. Use the online tool linked at to perform a simple inspection to determine what your service line is made of. Then, using the online form, submit your findings, along with a picture of your water meter to the Department of Public Services for review. This effort will help city staff develop a comprehensive inventory of lead service lines.


Information on Water Filters

In conjunction with the city, the Oakland County Health Division will provide complimentary water filters for economically disadvantaged members of the city who meet state-mandated thresholds 

 When: Wednesday, Oct. 30  from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. 

Where: Mahany/Meininger Senior Community Center, located 3500 Marais.


Purchasing your own filter. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommends that any household with a child or pregnant woman use cold water and a certified lead filter to remove lead from their drinking water, especially when preparing baby formula. Look for filters that are tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction. Be sure to maintain and replace the filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to protect water quality. 

Does this mean Royal Oak’s water contains 23 parts-per-billion of lead?

No. The results of testing are site-specific and vary from one home to the next. The 23 parts-per-billion value was one result among 30.

Can I test for lead on my own?

Yes. Test kits are available for purchase from the Oakland County Health Division – 248.858.1280. The kits cost approximately $25.

Results are for homeowners’ information only – do not forward the information to the city offices.

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