Toxic Levels of Lead and Copper in Groundwater Can Be Caused by Stray Electrical Current

Monday, December 4, 2017: 3:50 p.m.
101 AB (Music City Center)
Todd Giddings, Ph.D., PG , Todd Giddings and Associates Inc., State College, PA

Throughout Pennsylvania and most other states, both lead and copper are not usually found in groundwater at toxic levels. News from the Flint, Michigan corrosive water crisis has caused homeowners with a water well to test their tap-water. A few homeowners and commercial building owners are finding toxic levels of lead and copper. This presentation will explain how stray electrical current flowing through their water piping is causing the toxic levels of lead and copper found in their tap-water, when their source groundwater is not corrosive and contains non-detect levels of lead and only trace levels of copper. Stray electrical current is a little-known cause of corrosion that dissolves lead from solder and dissolves copper from the piping. Several case-history examples will be used to show the major stray electrical current causes and some corrective actions. The electrochemical process that dissolves the two metals will be explained.

Slides in PDF
Todd Giddings, Ph.D., PG, Todd Giddings and Associates Inc., State College, PA
Todd Giddings, Ph.D., P.G., is a registered professional geologist, and the principal hydrogeologist and president of Todd Giddings and Associates, Inc. He has more than 45 years of experience in ground-water resources development, management, and remediation. His areas of professional interest are water-resources education, karst hydrogeology, and geothermal heat pump system design and training.

NGWA Groundwater Summit is being held in conjunction with Groundwater Week.

Find out more about NGWA and our events.

National Ground Water Association
601 Dempsey Road
Westerville, Ohio 43081
Phone 614 898.7791
(toll-free within the United States 800 551.7379)
Fax 614 898.7786

Websites: —home site of NGWA — information for well owners