Lead Water Safety | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Lead Water Safety

The City of Lakewood is one of 70 communities whose water needs are served by Cleveland Water.  Cleveland water provides valuable information to the communities that it serves.

As such, we are working with Cleveland to promote lead water safety and awareness.

Cleveland Water is lead free when it leaves the treatment plants.

Places that may contain lead include city-owned service lines, customer-owned service lines, and the plumbing in your home such as older faucets.

Customer-Owned v. City-Owned Service Lines

Not sure where the City-Owned Service line stops and your Customer-Owner Service line starts? Check out the following Cleveland Water diagram for further clarity.

To begin taking actions to ensure that you are consuming the cleanest water possible, check out the following links:

Do I have a lead City-Owned Service Line?

Like many older water systems across the country, the City of Lakewood does contain some cityside lead connections. Cityside connections are maintained by the City of Lakewood. Learn what we are doing to replace these lead city-owned service lines, here.

Is my Customer-Owned Service Line lead?

The customer-owned service line extends from the curb stop into your basement or crawl space.

Of the 13,000 homes in Lakewood, the City currently estimates that only 2,000 have a potential lead customer-owned service line.

To find out what type of service line you have, click here and follow the directions below:

To search for your address, click Ctrl F and type your street name into the search bar and then scroll to your address.  If you live in a double or multi-family unit and there are multiple addresses, you may need to look for all of the addresses to find your home.  Each home is only listed on the spreadsheet once.

If the Private Material column says Unknown for your home, please perform the test below and click here to record your results.

Identify Your Service Line Type

Identification of the type of material used for service lines and in-home plumbing can be done using a magnet and a penny. Your service line material should be tested where the line first enters the home, which is typically in the basement before the water meter. Not sure where to test? See diagram.

The City of Cleveland currently implements corrosion control techniques, orthophosphate addition and pH control. These corrosion control techniques are very successful. Orthophosphate creates a protective coating inside all metal pipes. For homes with lead service lines, the coating prevents water from coming into contact with the mental. If your home’s plumbing system contains lead, visit our How to Ensure Water Quality web page to learn actions you can take to ensure the highest quality of water comes out of your tap. If you have questions, please call the City of Lakewood Department of Public Works at 216-529-6800.

  • How to Ensure Water Quality+-

    There are daily actions that all customers should take to ensure the highest quality of water is coming out of your tap, especially if there is the possibility of lead in your plumbing system and after a disruption of service.

    The City of Cleveland recommends residents remember the following for water safety: Flush. Clean. Consume Cold.

    As a standard practice the USEPA recommends the following actions to reduce possible lead exposure in drinking water. In some situations, a water system repair/replacement may temporarily increase lead levels in water and/or cause discoloration.

    Steps You Can Take to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water

    • FLUSH-Before drinking, flush your home’s pipes by running the tap for 30 seconds to 3 minutes, taking a shower, doing laundry, or doing a load of dishes.
    • CLEAN: Regularly clean your faucet’s screen (also known as an aerator). Click here to learn how to clean aerators.
    • CONSUME COLD: Use only cold water for drinking, cooking and making baby formula. Remember, boiling water does not remove lead from water.
    • If you use a filter certified to remove lead, don’t forget to read the directions to learn when to change the cartridge. Using a filter after it has expired can make it less effective at removing lead.
    • Replace pre-2014 faucets and fixtures. Older faucets may contain higher levels of lead. Faucets manufactured and sold in the U.S. after 2014 are considered “lead-free” and must contain less than 0.25% lead in areas that come into contact with water.
    • Customers can also choose to have their water tested at their cost at a certified laboratory. Click here for the Ohio EPA  a list of certified laboratories that can test for lead.

    Source: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-lead-poisoning-prevention-week

    City of Lakewood Water Quality Report

  • What is the City of Lakewood doing to Replace Lead City-Owned Service Lines?+-

    Replace Lead Lines

    As the City of Lakewood is replacing watermains and completing other infrastructure projects, the City is also replacing all lead city-owned service lines with copper service lines. There are no lead watermains in Lakewood.  In 2019, city-owned services lines will be replaced on Lake Avenue from Webb to Belle and Lakewood Heights Boulevard from Riverside to McKinley.

    Lead Testing

    The City of Lakewood conducts water lead-level testing in accordance with state policies. Testing will be conducted in 2019 beginning June 1st through September 30th, 2019. The tests are completed at the required number of 30 different households and  include homes with lead city-owned service lines or lead customer-owned service lines. The results of the tests are included in the annual water quality report.  The previous years water quality report is available prior to July 1 of the following year.

    System-wide Sampling

    In addition to lead service line testing, The City of Lakewood does its own system wide sampling. This information is also collected in the annual water quality report. If Lakewood finds that there are any issues during system wide sampling, we will work with the Cleveland Water treatment facilities to determine a course of action necessary to make the proper adjustments to the water chemistry.

    In order to prevent lead exposure,  Cleveland Water is adds the chemical orthophosphate to the water during the treatment process.  This chemical “forms protective coating inside the water mains, service lines, your home’s plumbing, and faucets regardless of the material type and age.  This prevents water from coming in contact with the metal, reducing the likelihood of lead dissolving into the water. To learn more about what Cleveland is doing to prevent lead exposure and replace lead service lines, visit http://www.clevelandwater.com/your-water/infrastructure-projects.

  • Eliminate Other Sources of Lead+-

    The City of Lakewood is committed to working with residents to prevent lead exposure from known lead sources in plumbing systems. However, according to the Ohio Department of Health, the most common source of lead exposure in our state is dust from deteriorating lead-based paint used on homes and buildings before the 1978 ban on lead paint. Lead-contaminated dust settles on floors, windowsills, and toys and can also impact the soil outside homes. Lead was historically used in a wide variety of products including paint, ceramics, plumbing materials, solders, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, jewelry and cosmetics. To learn more about the preventing lead exposure in your home, visit the City of Lakewood’s Home Lead Awareness & Prevention webpage.

  • More Lead Safety Resources+-

    US Environmental Protection Agency:

    Healthychildren.org –  Lead Exposure:  Steps to Protect your Family –  https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Lead-Screening-for-Children.aspx

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program –  https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/

    American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement:  Prevention of Childhood Lead Toxicity –  https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/1/e20161493.figures-only