Straight from the Tap

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


Like many older water systems, some homes and businesses in the Cleveland Water system may have lead service lines or plumbing components. To know the potential for lead in your home’s plumbing system, follow these steps.

CHECK Our Service Line

Check our online database to learn if your city-owned 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.

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. If you have an older home, use our online Check Your Connection tool to help you determine the likelihood of your city-owned service line containing lead.

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.

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. The Lead Reporting Tool allows Cleveland Water to collect information on the type of material that brings water from water mains into your home. You can also email your results and pictures of your service line to

Having information about customer-owned service lines will help us to better target existing efforts to proactively remove lead service lines.

Know the DATE of Your Plumbing

Knowing the age of the plumbing components in your home will help you understand your risk of lead exposure through pipes, solder, and potable water faucets and fixtures.

Since June 1986, the Safe Drinking Water Act has prohibited the use of lead pipes for potable water. It also reduced the allowable level of lead in plumbing solder to less than 0.2% and the allowable level of lead in brass used for potable water fittings and fixtures to less than 8%. Prior to 1986, most solder was 50% lead and faucets could have unlimited amounts of lead inside.

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 potable water to less than 0.25%.