Straight from the Tap

How to determine if you have a lead cityside connection

10/24/2017

At Cleveland Water, we take the risks associated with lead in drinking water seriously. That is why we have optimized our water treatment process to help protect you and your family from risks associated with lead pipes.

Like many older water systems across the country, the Cleveland Water system does contain some lead cityside connections. However, because we utilize Orthophosphate as a protective coating on the inside of all our water mains, the water we provide our customers is lead free. Yet, we still come across lead cityside connections within our system. A cityside connection is the pipe that connects the water main in the street to the curb stop. The curb stop is the point in the drinking water system where private ownership of the pipes takes over, and is usually located at the property line in the front yard.

In general, if your home was built after 1954 or your connection is larger than 1 inch in diameter, it is unlikely that you have a lead cityside connection. If you have an older home or are concerned about your connection, Cleveland Water maintains an online search tool that can help you determine the likelihood of whether your cityside connection contains lead pipes. To use our “Check Your Connection” tool, click here and enter your house number, street name, zip code, and the captcha. After clicking on the search button you will receive a response indicating the likelihood of a lead cityside connection. Typical responses include:

  • Based on the size of your connection, it is unlikely that you have a lead cityside connection.
  • Based on our repair records, it is unlikely that you have a lead cityside connection.
  • Based on the date your connection was installed, it is likely that you have a lead cityside connection.
  • Based on the date your connection was installed, it is unlikely that you have a lead cityside connection.

You can use this search form for other places that you commonly use tap water such as your church, school, office, or gym.

Cleveland Water takes a proactive approach to replacing lead cityside connections. For example, when we do water main replacement projects, if we come across a lead cityside connection, we automatically replace it. This includes breaks or leaks as well. Anytime we come across a lead cityside connection, we replace them at no cost to the customer. 

In Wednesday’s blog we’ll explain how to test your pipes to determine what material they are made from and give you important information about your faucets and fixtures.

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