Straight from the Tap

What You Can Do About Lead: Check, Test, Date

10/27/2022

While some homes and buildings in our service area have lead service lines or plumbing that contains lead, we take several actions to protect you and your family from the risk of lead and keep your drinking water safe.

We also want to empower our customers with information so you can know the potential for lead in your home plumbing. Having this information will help you determine what additional action to take in order to ensure the highest quality drinking water comes out of your tap.

Here's how to know the risk of lead in your home plumbing.

CHECK Our Service Line

Use our Check Your Connection tool to learn if the city-owned portion of your water service line is likely to be lead. The city-owned portion of the service line extends from the water main in the street to the shut-off valve near the sidewalk or tree lawn.

After you enter and submit the requested information, a response will appear at the bottom of the page letting you know the likelihood of a lead city-owned service line for the address you entered. Generally, if your home was built after 1954 or your service line is larger than one inch in diameter, it’s unlikely that you have a lead service line.

TEST Your Service Line

You can determine the type of material your portion of the service line is made of by performing the magnet and penny test. Watch our video for step-by-step instructions on how to perform the magnet and penny test.

Once you determine what your service line is made of, record your results using our online Lead Reporting Tool. You can also email your results and pictures of your service line to LeadLookup@clevelandwater.com.

Having information about customer-owned service lines will help us to better target lead service line removal.

Know the DATE of Your Plumbing

Knowing the age or date of installation of the plumbing components in your home will help you understand the risk of lead exposure from pipes, solder, faucets, and fixtures.

If your plumbing or fixtures were installed before 1986, there’s the potential that lead exits in the pipes or solder. Since June 1986, the Safe Drinking Water Act has banned the use of lead pipes for drinking water. It also reduced the allowable level of lead in plumbing solder to less than 0.2%.

Brass used in drinking water fittings and fixtures manufactured between 1986 and 2014 could contain up to 8% lead. The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1986 reduced the allowable level of lead in brass used for drinking water fittings and fixtures to less than 8%. In 2014, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act reduced the allowable level of lead in brass alloys used for faucets, fittings, and meters for drinking water to less than 0.25%.