Our public water system is conducting a lead service line inventory. Although we have no reason to believe there is any lead in our system, the inventory is required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Revised Lead and Copper Rule. In performing the lead service line inventory, we need to know the material composition of both the publicly owned (water system-owned) and privately owned (customer-owned) portions of the service line. We are requesting your help in this identification process. Service lines can be made of many materials, such as plastic, copper, PEX, HDPE, galvanized, lead, etc. To complete our inventory, we are required to record the material composition of your service line, even if it is not made of lead. The material type must be reported to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) as required by regulation. There are several ways you can identify your service line material:
• If you had your service line installed or replaced and remember when, and what it is made of, you can letus know. If you have a record of what the service line is made of, such as an invoice from the person who performed the installation or replacement, that would be even better.
• The age of your home may indicate if a lead service line is present. The lead ban in Missouri was effective Jan. 1, 1989. The ban prohibited the use of lead in potable water applications after this date. If your home’s construction was after the lead ban, most likely the service line is not lead.
• If you don’t know the material composition of your service line, you can perform a visual inspection. The performance of a visual inspection starts where the service line enters your home. This is normally where it enters through the foundation or basement wall. Plastic, such as PVC, HDPE, PEX, etc., is easy to identify because most people have come in contact with it in the past. When new, copper appears shiny, like a new penny and green when older and weathered. Galvanized pipe appears as silver-gray when newer and gray to rusty when old. Lead appears as gray to a blue-gray color, and when scratched, lead becomes shiny like a new nickel. A magnet will not stick to lead, but will stick to steel. Lead service lines can also have a wiped lead joint or bulb at locations where it attaches to other metals, or fittings which actually look like a snake that just ate something. You can use these techniques to identify your service line material. We can provide pictures of what these materials look like upon request or you can go to the MoDNR website and access the web page that specifically addresses lead service line inventories at dnr.mo.gov/water/business-industry-other-entities/technical-assistance-guidance/lead-service-lines.
• If you are renting, you can ask the owner or manager what the service line material is. They can use the same techniques listed above to make a materials determination if they don’t know.
• With your permission, we can help you investigate to determine the material used for your service line.
• If your service line is made of lead, we can provide you information concerning the following:
»Health effects of lead in drinking water
»Things you can do to reduce the amount of lead in your drinking water
»Information on conducting a lead service line replacement
»Financial opportunities to pay for the replacement
When we conduct the lead service line inventory, we will use the information you provided as the determination for the customer-owned portion of the inventory. We also search our records, such as tap cards, meter cards, as-built plans and specifications, plumbing codes, maps, historical records, inspection records, ordinances, etc., to determine the material composition of the publically owned portion of the service line. While the records search can identify the materials of many of our services, there will be those that remain unknown. When this is the case, we will perform basic visual examinations. A visual examination of the meter box may allow the identification of the service line material on both sides of the meter. In some instances, this will not reveal what the service line material is. When this happens, we can collect water samples to help make a determination, but this will not work if the water system is providing corrosion-control treatment or has hard water. The last resort is to perform an excavation to examine the materials used in the service line. This examination is performed by traditional open-trench excavation or by a less invasive type of excavation called hydrovac. Hydrovac uses water and vacuum to remove soil down to the service line.
Please click here to fill out our customer survey by April 30, 2024. You can also contact us for a paper copy or to request help identifying your service line material, call 636-296-0659 or email email@example.com for further questions. The lead service line inventory is a huge undertaking for our water system and your help is greatly appreciated.
PWSD #1 Service Line Inventory Survey