Project #4910

Evaluating Key Factors That Affect the Accumulation and Release of Lead from Galvanized Pipes

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Mr. Jonathan Cuppett
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Lead & Copper
Customer Relations & Stakeholder Engagement


Galvanized iron pipe (GIP) has unpredictable corrosion performance relative to other materials used in potable water distribution systems, posing additional challenges for utilities assessing risk or trying to implement corrosion control treatment for GIP. This project developed cutting edge tools that evaluate links between GIP and lead (Pb) release by: scientifically assessing customers’ concerns related to GIP corrosion and possible association with Pb in water, characterizing the nature of iron (Fe) and Pb release to drinking water from known sources, and examining Fe and Pb release from GIP using bench-scale testing. The research team developed relevant public education materials and guidelines for addressing GIP corrosion. Published in 2022.