Cleveland Water is lead-free when it leaves our treatment plants and our water mains are not made from lead. However, some older service lines and connections do contain lead. We proactively replace all lead city-owned service lines and connections during water main repair and replacement projects.
Cleveland Water encourages customers to replace customer-owned lead service lines, especially when we are replacing city-owned lead service lines. The highest risk for lead exposure is when partial lead service lines are left behind. When a customer-owned lead service line is not removed at the same time the city-owned line is replaced, Cleveland Water will offer customers in the project area a water pitcher with three months of filters certified to remove lead.
If a customer-owned lead service line is left behind after a city-owned line has been replaced, we cut the customer-owned service line in a way that reduces the chances of lead particulate entering the line. We follow this up with a service line flush to remove as many potential lead particles as possible from the line.
When two different types of metal are joined together, the potential for metal corrosion increases. This type of corrosion is called dielectric corrosion. To help reduce the risk of lead corrosion when a customer-owned lead service line is left behind, we use dielectric couplings. These plastic couplings act as insulators, which reduces the potential for dielectric corrosion and therefore the likelihood of lead corroding into drinking water.