CHECKING YOUR SERVICE LINE FOR LEAD
To determine if the Service Line connected to your house is made of lead, you can perform this simple scratch test. Find the water meter, and if the inlet pipe is not plastic, use a piece of metal to scratch the pipe gently, being careful not to pierce the pipe. If the pipe scratches easily, and the color revealed is a nickel or dull silver, the pipe may be made of lead. Next, use a magnet to determine if the pipe is iron or steel. If the magnet sticks, it’s not lead. If the magnet does not stick and the scratch revealed a nickel or silver color, the pipe could be made of lead.
You can also purchase lead test kits from the Hardware store. Look for an EPA-recognized kit. A licensed and insured plumber can also inspect your pipes and plumbing for lead.
OTHER POTENTIAL LEAD SOURCES
• Plumbing fixtures • Lead solder • Brass pipes • Galvanized steel
If your home is older, you may also wish to contact your health department about lead paint.
Allegheny County Health Department (412) 350-4048 www.achd.net
Pennsylvania Department of Health 1-800-440-5323 www.health.pa.gov
DID YOU KNOW?
A lead service line from the curb stop valve to your property is your responsibility, but the portion from the curb stop to the main is the responsibility of the MAWC (Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County).
The water supplied by the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County is not a source of lead. However, your water service line could be made of lead.
REDUCE LEAD IN YOUR WATER
If you have some lead in your plumbing, here are some ways to reduce lead exposure. Run your cold water tap for two minutes before using it for drinking or cooking. Lead and other metals can dissolve in water when it sits in pipes for a few hours. Use cold filtered tap water for drinking and cooking, including water used for making ice, beverages and infant formula. Use filters certified for the removal of lead by the NSF. Do not use hot tap water for drinking or cooking. Hot tap water can cause a greater amount of lead to release from plumbing. Always use cold tap water, including water used for making ice, beverages and infant formula. Remove and clean faucet aerators every month. Particles can collect in the aerator screen at the tip of your faucet. Aerators should be replaced every year.
If, after verification that you have a lead service line, you are interested in replacing it, it’s important to contact us so that we can coordinate replacement of our section of pipe. If you are interested in testing your water for lead, please email MAWC@mawc.org or call us at (724) 755-5858