How do I know if I have a lead service line going to my house?

To find out, you can:

  • Hire a licensed plumber to do a plumbing inspection on your home; or
  • Look at the plumbing in your basement yourself. Your service line often comes into the basement of your house and will be connected to your water meter:
  • If the pipe coming through your basement wall is copper (the color of a penny) or plastic, lead is not likely a concern.
  • If the pipe is another color, you will want to use a key or coin to scratch the pipe close to the wall.
  • If it scratches easily, and you don't see copper underneath, you may have a lead pipe.
  • Next, try sticking a magnet to it.  If it sticks, it's likely a galvanized steel pipe, but may have lead solder. If it doesn't stick, you may have lead pipes.
  • Call your city water provider to see if they can confirm the type of pipe that you have. The city may have programs to help you get a new, safer service line to your home.

Show All Answers

1. What is lead?
2. How can I be exposed to lead?
3. How does lead get into drinking water?
4. How can I prevent being exposed to lead in my water?
5. Why does flushing the water before drinking make it safe?
6. What are some of the health problems lead can cause?
7. Where can I get my child’s blood tested for lead?
8. What does an "elevated blood lead level" mean?
9. Should I have my child tested for lead?
10. Where can I go to get my water tested?
11. Will it cost me anything to get my water tested for lead?
12. What else is the Berrien County Health Department doing?
13. What is a lead service line?
14. How do I know if I have a lead service line going to my house?
15. Where can I go to find more information?