Straight from the Tap

Cleveland Water Looking for Homes to Participate in Innovative Water Research Project


UPDATE: Cleveland Water has surpassed the number of volunteers needed for the USEPA-Battelle research project. However, we are always looking for homes to become long-term Lead and Copper Compliance Monitoring sample collection sites. Specifically, we are looking for homes that have customer-side lead service lines (Learn how to test your service line here). To learn more or volunteer, call 216-664-2639 or email

Cleveland Water is looking for customers to volunteer their home as a water sampling site for a research project being conducted in partnership with the U.S. EPA. Participants will receive a $100 credit on their water bill as well as a copy of the test results.

The project’s goal is to find ways to improve the identification of lead service lines. A service line is a pipe that connects the water main in the street to a home. Currently, the most accurate way to identify what type of material a customer’s service line is made of is by digging it up; however, this is very expensive.

This study will try to determine if scientific analysis of a home’s water can instead be used to determine if all or a portion of a service line is lead or not. Homes with and without lead service lines are needed for this research.

If water testing proves to be a successful method, it will benefit not only Cleveland Water customers but also water customers around the country, by providing a significantly less costly way to determine service line material.

Drinking water is lead-free when it leaves our treatment plants, but tap water can pick up lead as it travels through lead service lines, home plumbing, and fixtures. We take several actions to minimize the potential for exposure to lead from water, and while these efforts have been very successful we’re always looking for ways to reduce the risk even further.

Customers who volunteer will be asked to not use any water in the home for 6 hours prior to sampling. Customers often find that sampling first thing in the morning or after having been at work or school for the day are the most convenient times. The U.S. EPA will coordinate a day and time that best fits your schedule.

A sampling team of two people will spend approximately 15 to 30 minutes inspecting your service line where it enters your home (often in a basement or crawl space) and collecting 20, 1-liter bottles of water from the kitchen faucet for analysis. After the sampling team is done, you’ll be asked to collect one additional 1-liter sample over the course of the next 1 to 2 days. The team will leave a postage-paid box for you to return the sample to them for analysis.

The sampling team will follow health and safety precautions, including wearing masks and screening for any COVID-19 symptoms or exposure during the previous 14 days.

To volunteer or get more information, please call 216-664-2639 or email