Check. Test. Date.
Cleveland Water is lead-free when it leaves our treatment plants. Our water mains are not made of lead. However, there may be lead in your home’s plumbing system.
Places that may contain lead include city-owned service lines, customer-owned services lines smaller than 1 inch in diameter, and plumbing such as older faucets.
Actions you can take to know your family’s risk for lead exposure in drinking water and identify the potential of lead in your home's plumbing system include:
If your home’s plumbing system contains lead, go to our “Flush. Clean. Consume Cold.” webpage to learn actions you can take to ensure the highest quality of water comes out of your tap. If you have questions, please call Cleveland Water's Lead Inquiry Line at 216-664-2882.
What You Can Do at Home
Cleveland Water's InfrastructureCleveland Water maintains the water main in the street and the connection between the water main and the curb stop, referred to as the cityside connection. Houses built after 1954 are unlikely to have a lead cityside connection.
Property Owner's ResponsibilityAccording to the American Water Works Association research, the majority of the risk for lead contamination comes from the service line or plumbing on the property owner's side.
Property Owner's Service LineIn terms of customer owned plumbing, the biggest potential source of risk comes from lead service lines.
Property Owner's At-Home PlumbingPotential sources of lead contamination in your home plumbing include copper plumbing with high lead solder installed before 1986 and brass fittings and fixtures installed before 2014.
Do I have a lead city-owned service line?
Like many older water systems across the country, the Cleveland Water system has some city-owned lead connections. City-owned connections are maintained by Cleveland Water. In general, if your home was built after 1953 or your connection is larger than one inch in diameter, it is unlikely that you have a lead city-owned service line. To see a map of our service area that shows the percentage of Cleveland Water's city-owned connections that are suspected to be lead, click here. If you would like to have your water tested, click here for a list maintained by Ohio EPA of certified laboratories that can test for lead and many other potential contaminants.
Use the search tool below to find out about the cityside connection that serves your property.
Test Your Service Line
The customer-owned service line extends from the curb stop into your basement or crawl space. Identification of the type of material used for service lines and in-home plumbing can be done using a magnet and a penny. Your service line material should be tested where the line first enters the home, which is typically in the basement before the water meter (see diagram). For printable magnet and penny test instructions, click here.
Cleveland Water does not have information on the material types of customer-owned service lines and we need your help filling in this data for us so we can meet Ohio EPA requirements and plan future infrastructure improvement projects. After you perform the test, please complete the information below. You will need your billing account number.
Record Your Test Results
Date Your Home and Plumbing
Knowing the age of your home and plumbing components in your home will help you understand your risk of lead exposure through pipes, solder, and potable water faucets and fixtures.
1953 - Cleveland Water stopped using lead service line connections.
1954 - Homes built this year or after should not have lead city-owned service lines in the Cleveland Water service area.
1986 - Amendments to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act were enacted to reduce lead in drinking water. The amendments:
- Defined “lead-free” to limit the allowable level of lead in brass components in faucets and fixtures to less than 8% lead.
- Reduced the amount of allowable lead in solder that connects copper pipes to less than 0.2%. Prior to that solder was typically 50% lead.
- Prohibited the use of lead pipes for potable water uses. (i.e., homes built in 1986 and more recent and plumbing systems remodeled after 1986 should not have lead customer-owned service line connections or lead pipes in their water system).
1997 - Cleveland Water begins treatment techniques (pH control and orthophosphate addition) to meet the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule, which requires less than 15 parts per billion (PPB) of lead in water from homes that have lead in their plumbing systems. Since 1997, our compliance test results have been below 15 ppb.
2014 - Another Safe Drinking Water Act Amendment goes into effect that redefines “lead-free” as less than 0.25% lead allowed in the wetted surface areas of potable water components (faucets, fixtures, meters, etc.).
2018 - New Ohio Administrative Code rules go into effect requiring specific notifications, offers for filters, sampling, etc. for water line repairs and replacements in areas that may have lead service lines.