Lake County Public Works (LCPW) and all water service agencies across the country have been working to develop lead service line inventories as part of new regulations that went into effect to protect communities from lead exposure.
A service line is the water pipe that delivers drinking water from the public water main to homes and businesses. A portion of the service line is on residents' property and owned by residents.
LCPW is encouraging all customers who own structures built in 1988 or earlier, to check the water service line in their homes or businesses. This can be done by completing four steps:
Locate the water service line entering the building. This is typically found in the basement. A valve and the water meter are installed on the pipe after the point of entry. Identify a test area on the pipe between the point where it enters the building and the valve. If the pipe is covered or wrapped, expose a small area of metal.
Scratch the surface of the pipe. Use the flat edge of a screwdriver to scratch through any corrosion that may have built up on the outside of the pipe.
Compare your pipe to the chart below. Each type of pipe will produce a different type of scratch, react differently to the magnet, and produce a unique sound when tapped with a metal coin.
Scratch Test – If the scraped area is shiny and silver, the pipe is lead.
Magnet Test – A magnet will not stick to a lead pipe
Tapping Test – Tapping a lead pipe with a coin will produce a dull noise
Scratch Test – If the scraped area is copper in color, like a penny, the pipe is copper.
Magnet Test – A magnet will not stick to a copper pipe.
Tapping Test – Tapping a copper pipe with a coin will produce a metallic ringing noise.
Scratch Test – If the scraped area remains a dull gray, the pipe is galvanized steel.
Magnet Test – A magnet sticks to a galvanized pipe.
Tapping Test – Tapping a galvanized pipe with a coin will produce a metallic ringing noise.
Step 4 - Submit Your Results
Let us know what kind of water pipes you have by completing this form.