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Replacing Your Lead Service Line

 

1. Do I have a lead service line or lead pipe materials in my home?

  • Free lead water test kits are available for homes in the City of Pittsburgh and Millvale. To request a lead test kit for your home, e-mail servicelines@pgh2o.com or call 412.255.2423 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm Monday through Friday. Please include your name, mailing address, and phone number with your request. 

  • How do I know if I have a Lead Service Lines?

  • Check out our Lead Infographic.

  • Lead FAQ (pdf)

 

If you are unable to determine if you have a lead service line, contact a licensed plumber. 

 

2.  I have a lead service line - what's next?

 

PWSA'S LEAD SERVICE LINE REPLACEMENT PROGRAM

PWSA has used curb box inspection results, PWSA historical records, and the age of water mains to determine the location of lead service lines throughout the City of Pittsburgh.

 

Using this data, PWSA will move throughout each council district, targeting properties with a lead service line on the public portion (from the water main to the curb) and a non-lead line on the private portion (from the curb to the home).

 

No parking signs will be posted 1-2 weeks before construction, and 48-hour notice door hangers will be placed at affected properties.

 

If both portions of your lead service line are lead and you wish to coordinate replacement with PWSA, contact the Lead Help Desk at 412.255.8987 or email at LeadHelp@pgh2o.com

 

Having no lead service line does not necessarily mean your water is lead-free. Lead can also be found in the following internal plumbing materials:

  • interior lead pipe
  • interior galvanized pipe (especially if there was, or is, a full or partial lead service line)
  • interior copper pipe with lead soldered joints (installed prior to 1988)
  • interior plumbing fixtures (purchased or installed prior to January 2014 before the effective date of new definition of “lead-free”)

 

You can test your internal plumbing materials using the lead infographic listed at the top of the page, or you can buy lead test swab at most home improvement stores. 

 


 

3. Are there financial programs to help customers replace private lead lines? 

 

THE URA’S REPLACE OLD LEAD LINES (ROLL) PROGRAM

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is offering a loan up to $10,000 at 3% interest for qualified PWSA customers who want to replace the private portion of a lead service line. To learn more about the program and to see if you qualify, check out the ROLL fact sheet here

 


 

4. Other programs

 

CITY OF PITTSBURGH FREE LEAD FILTER PROGRAM

You can get a pitcher-style filter to remove lead from drinking water through the City of Pittsburgh's Safe Water Program. Discount coupons are available here

 


 

  • Until you replace the entire lead service line, continue to take steps to reduce your exposure to lead in your water:

    • Run your water to flush out lead.
      If you haven’t used your water for several hours, run your cold tap for one minute before using for cooking or drinking.  Homes with longer lead water service lines may require flushing for a longer period of time. Using toilets, washing clothes, showering, or doing dishes before you drink from your tap are all ways that you can flush your service line without wasting water.

    • Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula.
      Lead dissolves more easily in hot water. Do not drink, cook with, or make baby formula using hot water.

    • Do not boil water to remove lead.
      Boiling water will not reduce lead.

    • Look for alternative sources or treatment of water.
      Purchase an NSF water filter that is certified to remove lead.
      Customers can also choose to drink bottled water.

    • Identify if your plumbing fixtures contain lead.
      There are commercially-available lead check swabs that can detect lead on plumbing surfaces such as solder and pipes. Consider having lead-containing pipes and fixtures replaced.

    • Get your child’s blood tested.
      Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about exposure.