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Salisbury-Rowan Utilities’ Water Treatment Division monitors drinking water quality before, during, and after treatment to comply with state and federal requirements. We test for nearly 100 different contaminants throughout the year to make sure the water you drink is safe. We also provide well water testing services to check for bacteria and nitrate/nitrite in private wells.

Contact Us

Environmental Compliance Coordinator

Kalah Simpson
(704) 216-2731

Water Quality Technician

Michael Rector
(704) 638-2118

Water Quality Report

Annual Drinking Water Quality Report for 2023

2023 Water Quality Report (PDF)

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities is pleased to present to you this year’s Annual Drinking Water Quality Report. This report is a snapshot of last year’s water quality. Included are details about your source water, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by our regulatory agencies. The annual report also includes water quality reports for the East Spencer, China Grove, and Northeast Rowan County water systems which purchase water from Salisbury-Rowan Utilities.

Our constant goal is to provide you with a safe and dependable supply of drinking water. We want you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve the water treatment process and protect our water resources. We are committed to ensuring the quality of your water and to providing you with this information. For questions concerning the report or your water, please contact Kalah Simpson, Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Salisbury-Rowan Utilities (704) 216-2731.

Este reporte contiene información importante sobre la calidad de agua en su comunidad. Léelo o llame por teléfono al (704) 638-2168 para una traducción en Español, gratis.

Lead Awareness

Lead is a common metal found in the environment. Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. Because it can accumulate in the body, infants, children, and developing fetuses are particularly susceptible to the effects of lead exposure.

Use the resources below to find out if your plumbing may contain lead, find tips on reducing your exposure to lead, and learn more about what Salisbury-Rowan Utilities does to protect customers from lead exposure.


    Look for lead in private plumbing, childcare centers, and water service line.


    There are several actions you can take at home to reduce or eliminate exposure to lead.


    Learn about water treatment to reduce corrosion of lead, residential water testing, and lead removal.

Most sources of drinking water have no lead or very low levels of lead. Most lead gets into drinking water after the water leaves the treatment plant and comes into contact with household plumbing materials containing lead. These include lead pipes, copper pipes with lead solder (commonly used until 1986), galvanized iron or steel that was ever downstream from lead plumbing, as well as components made of lead or brass. Brass faucets, fittings, and valves, including those advertised as “lead-free,” may contribute lead to drinking water. Although lead plumbing was banned in 1986, brass components were allowed to have up to 8% lead and still claim to be “lead-free” until 2014.

Customer-Owned Plumbing

A simple way to identify sources of lead around you is by looking at the drinking water pipes and fixtures in your home and identifying the material they are made from. A guide to help identify your own plumbing is included below, but we recommend you use an experienced, certified plumber to look for and replace lead fittings, fixtures, or other potential sources of lead. You may also contact a commercial lab and purchase a water test kit to check for lead. A complete list of certified commercial drinking water labs in North Carolina can be found here: NC Public Health Certified Laboratories.

Plumbing Materials Identification Guide

  1. Locate a drinking water line: If you have easy access to the basement, look for a pipe that enters the house through an outside wall—this is your water line. You’ll also find one going to your water heater and under each sink. Water lines typically enter a building through the wall facing the road, since it’s the shortest distance from the water meter.
  2. Determine if the pipe is plastic or metal by looking at or tapping it. Plastic plumbing doesn’t contain lead, but fixtures attached to them might. If all the water lines in your home are made of plastic, skip to step 5.
  3. If the pipe is metal, use a fridge magnet to check if it is magnetic. If a magnet sticks, the pipe is a galvanized metal. Galvanized steel or iron pipes that were ever downstream from lead pipes corrode and collect pieces of lead, which may leech into drinking water.
  4. If it’s NOT magnetic, use a coin to gently scratch the pipe. If it scratches easily and turns a shiny silver color, it’s lead. If the pipe doesn’t scratch easily, has a copper color, and is not magnetic, it’s made of copper. Copper pipes installed prior to 1986 were often joined with solder that contained 50% lead.
  5. Check the faucets you drink from - Brass faucets and fixtures contain small amounts of lead. Prior to January 4, 2014, brass could contain up to 8% lead and be labeled as “lead free”! The law still allows fixtures to be labeled as “lead-free” as long as they have less than 0.25% lead.

Service Line Inventory

The EPA recently strengthened regulations related to lead in drinking water. All public water systems must create a publicly-accessible inventory of the utility-owned and customer-owned portion of each water service line. SRU’s public inventory will be completed and available no later than October 2024. You may receive a letter in the mail requesting information about the customer-owned portion of your water service line – this is to assist us in creating the required service line inventory. If you have a lead service line please let us know by emailing

Water Testing in Schools and Daycares

In North Carolina, all licensed child care centers are required to test for lead in drinking water. Some test results are available online at Clean Water for Carolina Kids. Results from other child care centers and schools may be requested from the owner or director of the center. Note that there are exemptions to this requirement, so an exempt facility may not have test results to share.

Lead Free NC, information and resources for parents

Exposure to lead in drinking water can cause serious health effects in all age groups. Infants and children can have decreases in IQ and attention span. Lead exposure can lead to new learning and behavior problems or exacerbate existing learning and behavior problems. The children of women who are exposed to lead before or during pregnancy can have increased risk of these adverse health effects. Adults can have increased risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney or nervous system problems. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how to get tested for lead. There are several steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water.

Clean Aerators

Periodically remove and clean aerators on faucets used for drinking water. This will remove any small lead particles and other debris that may accumulate over time. It’s a good idea to remove and clean your aerators at least once a month.

Flush Water Lines

If water hasn’t been used for several hours, run water for at least 15-30 seconds or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking. This is especially important if you do have sources of lead in your home plumbing because lead becomes more concentrated in water the longer it remains in contact with the lead source. If water has not run for several days, turn on all cold water taps and allow them to run for a few minutes to bring fresh water into your home.

Filter Water

If you have identified sources of lead in your home plumbing, you may choose to purchase a filtration device. Be sure the filter is approved to reduce lead or contact NSF International at 1-800-NSF-8010 or for performance standards for water filters.

Consume Cold

When preparing food or drinks, only use cold water. Lead dissolves more easily in hot water. Never prepare baby formula with water drawn from the hot water tap.

Eliminate Lead

Consider removing and replacing any sources of lead in your home. We recommend using an experienced, certified plumber to look for and replace lead fittings, fixtures, or other potential sources of lead. If you choose to replace your water service line, even if it is not lead, please let us know using the Service Line Material Submission form and your information will be used to update our Service Line Inventory.

Keep in mind that even fixtures advertised as “lead-free” may contribute lead to drinking water. The law currently allows end-use fixtures, such as brass faucets, with wetted surfaces containing a maximum weighted average of 0.25% lead to be labeled as “lead-free.” Prior to January 4, 2014, fixtures could contain up to 8% lead and be labeled as “lead free.” Visit the NSF Web site at to learn more about lead-containing plumbing fixtures.

Other Sources of Lead

The main sources of lead exposure are lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust or soil, and plumbing materials that contain lead. In addition, lead can be found in certain types of pottery, pewter, brass fixtures, food, and cosmetics. Other sources include exposure in the workplace and exposure from certain hobbies (lead can be carried on clothing or shoes).

Visit to learn more about lead-containing plumbing fixtures.

Corrosion Control

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities adjusts the water's chemistry at the treatment plant to reduce corrosion as plumbing ages. This part of the treatment process is called “corrosion control”. The process involves raising the pH of finished water to make it less corrosive, as well as adding zinc orthophosphate which creates a protective layer within pipes to inhibit corrosion.

Water Testing in Homes

To monitor the effectiveness of corrosion control treatment, we periodically test lead and copper levels in drinking water from a sampling pool of homes built before 1986. You can view the results of the most recent sampling events in the 2021 Consumer Confidence Report. Testing in Salisbury, China Grove, and East Spencer occurs every three years. Testing in the Northeast Rowan County water system occurs every six months. If you are interested in joining the sampling pool for lead and copper testing, and your home was built before 1986 or has a lead service line, you may complete an application online using the Lead and Copper Testing Program form. There is no cost to participate if your home is selected for testing. Please be aware that not all homes qualify.

You may also purchase your own water test by contacting any certified water testing laboratory. A complete list of certified commercial drinking water labs can be found here: NC Public Health Certified Laboratories.

Removing Lead

SRU is not aware of any utility-owned water lines made from lead. However, there are small connecting pieces of pipe called “lead goosenecks” on some older service connections made before the lead ban in 1986. Lead goosenecks are removed any time they are identified during routine or emergency maintenance.

Lead FAQs

How can I get my water tested for lead?

You may purchase a water test by contacting any certified water testing laboratory. A complete list of certified commercial drinking water labs can be found here: NC Public Health Certified Laboratories

I received something in the mail about a service line inventory – what do I need to do?

If you received something in the mail requesting information about your private service line – this is to assist us with creating a service line inventory. If you're not sure what your service line is made of, any certified plumber can inspect it and identify the plumbing material for you. If you already know what your water service line is made of, please let us know using the link on the letter you received.

You may choose not to submit information about your water service line. If we are not able to determine what your service line is made of it will be labeled as “unknown” in the publicly-accessible service line inventory and a notice will be mailed to the service address annually, beginning in 2024, with information about the risks of lead exposure.

I found sources of lead in my home plumbing system – what should I do?

The most effective solution is to remove all sources of lead in your home. There is no amount of lead that is considered safe. There are steps you can take today to reduce your exposure, but any identified sources of lead should be removed whenever possible.

Who should I contact if I have questions about lead?

For questions related information presented on this page, contact Salisbury-Rowan Utilities Environmental Compliance Coordinator:

Well Water Testing

While Salisbury-Rowan Utility does not regulate private wells, we can perform both Bacteriological testing and Nitrate/Nitrite testing. Questions about this process can be directed to our Administrative Office at (704) 638-5370.

Testing your private well's water quality on a regular basis is an important part of maintaining a safe and reliable source. The test results allow you to properly address the specific problems of a water supply. This will help ensure that the water source is being properly protected from potential contamination, and that appropriate treatment is selected and operating properly.

It is important to test the suitability of your water quality for its intended use, whether it be livestock watering, chemical spraying, or drinking water. This will assist you in making informed decisions about your water and how you use it.

Why Test?

  • Identify existing problems
  • Ensure water is suitable for the intended use, especially if used for drinking by humans and animals
  • Track changes over time
  • Determine the effectiveness of a treatment system

How Do I Test?

  1. Pick up a water sample bottle
    1. Sample bottles and collection instructions can be picked up at the Salisbury-Rowan Utility Administration office at 1 Water St. between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday
  2. Collect a water sample from your well
  3. Submit the water sample to SRU
    1. Bacteriological Testing
      1. Return the sample to the SRU Administration Office within 30 hours of collection
      2. Samples are accepted back for lab testing Monday through Thursday between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm
    2. Nitrate/Nitrite Testing
      1. Samples must be collected on Wednesday morning and delivered to 1 Water St. by 9:30 am on the same day


  1. Each test is $40 per sample
  2. Only checks will be accepted as payment. We do not accept cash or credit cards
  3. Have the check ready when you submit the collected water sample
  4. Have the check made out to: Salisbury-Rowan Utilities

About PFAS

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), PFAS or Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of chemicals used to make coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. PFAS have been used in clothing, furniture, adhesives, food packaging, heat-resistant non-stick cooking surfaces, and the insulation of electrical wire since the 1940s.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where do PFAS come from?

PFAS are synthetic chemicals and are not naturally occurring.

Have I been exposed to PFAS?

Almost everyone in the world has had some exposure to PFAS. The chemical can enter the body through eating food produced near places where PFAS are used or made, eating fish caught in contaminated waters, eating food packaged in PFAS materials, and swallowing or breathing in (intentionally or unintentionally) PFAS-contaminated soil, dust, or residue.

It is important to note that a person’s exposure to these PFAS can vary due to several factors because they have been used in millions of ways since the 1940s; Teflon-coated pans being the first consumer use back in 1961. The EPA estimates that only 20% of a person’s exposure to PFAS comes from drinking water.

Eighty percent of a person’s PFAS exposure can come from consumer products such as cookware, cosmetics, food wrappings, stain/water-resistant clothing, carpet and furniture treatments, and even deodorants, contact lenses, dental floss, and toilet paper. People can also be exposed by eating foods that may contain PFAS, such as fish, and it has been found in the air and in rainwater.

Are PFAS in Salisbury’s drinking water?

SRU tested drinking water for PFAS compounds in October 2023 and again in January 2024. None of the PFAS compounds tested for were detected in the finished drinking water.

Where can we find the water quality report for Salisbury-Rowan Utilities?

The Salisbury-Rowan Utilities Water Quality Report can be found previously on this webpage, at or a hard copy can be requested by calling (704) 638-5300.

Is SRU doing anything to minimize residents’ exposure to PFAS?

SRU’s existing water treatment process reduces PFAS in finished drinking water to levels that are “not detectable,” meaning less than the smallest amount the test method can detect.

SRU is taking the following proactive actions:

  • We are voluntarily testing our water to gather the best data possible to guide future decision-making and keep our customers informed. We will also participate in all required federal and state testing.
  • We will continue to coordinate and collaborate with state and federal regulatory agencies regarding ongoing research and rule-making developments.
  • We will continue openly communicating about PFAS, and we encourage our customers to visit this webpage

Regardless of the challenges posed by PFAS, Salisbury-Rowan Utilities is committed to providing safe, reliable drinking water in a way that protects public health.

How can I avoid PFAS?

Check fish advisories for lakes, rivers, oceans and other bodies of water where you fish

Read consumer product labels and avoid using those with PFAS.

What are the health risks associated with PFAS?

Elevated PFAS levels can affect people differently. Federal and state regulators are still learning how exposure can affect people’s health. However, high levels of PFAS can lead to:

  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Changes in liver enzymes
  • Decreased vaccine response
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women
  • Small decrease in infant birth weights
  • Increase risk of kidney and testicular cancer

Can I be tested for high PFAS levels in my blood?

Nearly everyone in the U.S. has measurable levels of PFAS compounds in their blood. We encourage those who are concerned about PFAS in their bodies to consult their healthcare provider.


What is the EPA threshold for PFAS versus the amount in Salisbury’s water?

The new EPA limit is based on a calculated value that combines the concentration of multiple PFAS chemicals, where the result must be less than 1 to meet the new standard. Since none of the regulated PFAS compounds have been detected in Salisbury’s finished drinking water, our calculated value is a 0.

For more information on PFAS

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