ID1920x260 Lead & Lead Service Lines
IM768x260 Lead & Lead Service Lines

Testing Your Water Service Line for Lead

Water service lines can be made of lead (LSLs) or use lead in soldered joints learn more.

Watch the video or follow the written steps below to perform a visual inspection of your water service line to determine what it’s made of. Then complete the Lead Service Line Survey.

Safety First!

Exclamation Pictogram Yield SignWhen working in unfamiliar and restrictive spaces, please ensure the area is well lit, wear appropriate clothing, and use head protection in areas with low ceilings.

LSL Test Step 1
Find Your Service Line Pipe

Outside Meter or Curb Stop


Water meters and curb stop valves can help you locate where water service lines enter your home. If present, they’re typically located at the front of the property near the street or sidewalk, in ground level boxes marked “water” or “meter”. Once found, walk the shortest path to your home – that’s where the service line pipe will enter through the floor or foundation wall. It will likely have a shut off valve a short distance from where it enters.

Inside Meter


Alternatively, your water meter could be located inside your home’s basement, crawlspace, or garage. The service line will enter the house a few feet underground, through the floor or foundation wall, before connecting to the water meter. There will be shutoff valves on one or both sides of the water meter. Residential service lines are ¾ to 2 inches in diameter.

LSL Test Step 2
Test the Pipe Material

Once you’ve located where the service line pipe enters your home, find a spot on the pipe closest to the wall/floor before it connects to a valve and/or meter. This is where you will verify the pipe’s material. Have the following items with you:

Refrigerator Magnet
to test if the pipe is made of steel

Coin or Key
to scratch the pipe to reveal the metal’s color and hardness

Flashlight or Mobile Phone Light
to clearly see the above



Plastic pipes are found in a variety of materials and colors. When tapped with a coin, they won’t produce a ringing sound like the following metal pipes will.

If your line is plastic, it’s a more recent installation, and will also be free of lead solder. Chances are your home’s internal plumbing is also of low risk for lead.



If when scratched the pipe is orange and shiny like a penny, your pipe is made of copper. A magnet will not stick to it.

Though your service line pipe isn’t a source of lead, it could have lead in soldered joints. You may still want to test your water for contamination from other sources in your plumbing, especially if it’s an older system.

Galvanized Steel / Iron


If the pipe is silvery gray, and hard to scratch, place your magnet on it. If the magnet sticks, your pipe is galvanized steel or galvanized iron.

Galvanized pipes may be sources of lead, as they can trap it on inside surfaces and contaminate water even after lead plumbing is removed. If you have a galvanized pipe, it indicates an older installation, and you should have your water tested.



If the pipe is silvery gray and: 1) is easily scratched, 2) the metal seems soft, and 3) a magnet doesn’t stick to ityou likely have a lead pipe.

Exclamation Pictogram Red Alert
If you have a lead service line, it should be replaced. Please contact us first 
to ensure the utility-owned portion is inspected and replaced (if needed) at the same time. Partial service line replacement can actually increase the amount of lead released into your water. Until then, you should follow the previous recommendations to reduce your exposure to lead. You should also consider water filters for drinking and cooking, especially if high risk individuals live in the home.

LSL Test Step 3
Complete the Lead Service Line Survey

EPA legislation requires regulated water utilities implement programs to help consumers identify Lead Service Lines on their property. We're beginning this work with the Lead Service Line Survey.

Even if your testing indicates your home doesn't have a Lead Service Line, we still encourage you to complete the Survey. It will help us inventory LSLs in the community for the benefit of all residents.

the Survey

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Thanks for helping us with this important work