Straight from the Tap

What Can I Do If I Have a Lead Connection or Plumbing?


Cleveland Water uses orthophosphate in our treatment process, and our test results submitted to the Ohio EPA indicate it is very successful in protecting customers from risks associated with lead found in cityside connections, ownerside connections, and at-home plumbing.

Our Lead Connection Lookup tool can help you determine if your home has a cityside lead connection. Our Lead Treatment webpage also has useful tips on how to determine if your ownerside connection is made of lead. If your home has a lead cityside connection, lead ownerside connection or home plumbing that contains lead, here are some simple things you can do to even further reduce the possibility of lead in your drinking water.

  • Before using water for drinking or cooking, turn on the cold tap and let it run for 1 to 2 minutes, particularly if the water has been off and sitting in the pipes in your home for more than 6 hours. You’ll know the water is fresh when the temperature becomes noticeably cooler to the touch.
  • Avoid drinking or cooking with water from the hot water tap. Always use cold water for cooking, drinking and making baby formula
  • Periodically clean the aerator on faucets you use for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, or other potable uses. The aerator is the wire screened portion of a faucet where the water comes out. These can be unscrewed, taken apart, put back together, and screwed back into your faucet. Lead particles, if present, can get stuck on this wire screen.
  • If you are concerned and would like extra protection, purchase a point-of-use treatment device certified to remove lead, and make sure it is properly maintained. The device should be certified for potable water use by one of several certifying organizations such as the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), or Water Quality Association (WQA).

If you would like to have your water tested, we recommend you use an Ohio EPA certified laboratory (click here for a list). Do not use “off the shelf” kits that can be purchased at local hardware stores as these may not have been evaluated for reliability.

We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about lead. Please feel free to call our Lead Hotline at (216) 664-2882.