Lead Service Lines & Piping

It is strongly advised that drinking water customers remove any lead pipes and lead plumbing materials serving their home. This may consist of the service line running from the water main in the street into your home, interior plumbing pipes and fittings, and interior fixtures such as faucets.

The water service pipe is owned by the property owner. However, under certain conditions, the City is authorized to repair portions of the service pipe in both public and private spaces. Maintenance of interior household plumbing is the exclusive responsibility of the property owner.

Determining Pipe Material

Find out whether your service line is made of lead. To determine the type of material of the service pipe on your property, check your household water service connection which is typically located in your basement. A home without a basement may have a utility room where the water service piping enters your home. The tools needed to perform the test are minor: a flathead screwdriver or coin and a refrigerator magnet.
  • Step 1: Locate the water service pipe coming into your home (usually in the basement). A shut-off valve and the water meter are installed on the pipe after the point of entry into the building.
  • Step 2: Identify a test area on the pipe between the point where it comes into the building and the shut-off valve. If the pipe is covered or wrapped, expose a small area of metal.
  • Step 3: Use the flat edge of a screwdriver or coin to scratch through any corrosion that might have built up on the outside of the pipe. If the scratched area is shiny and silver, your service line may be lead. The magnet will not stick to a lead pipe.
Other typical materials of construction for service lines are copper and galvanized steel.
  • Copper: If the scratched area is copper in color, similar to a penny coin, the line may be copper. The magnet will not stick to a copper pipe.
  • Galvanized Steel: If the scratched area remains a dull grey and the magnet will stick to the surface of the pipe, the line may be galvanized steel.