The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a revision to the Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water systems. The original rule was established in 1991. The rule required all water systems to monitor for lead and copper in their water and to have a plan to remove or remedy anything that would be introducing these contaminates into the water system.
The new revised rule is concentrating on the LEAD part of the rule. It requires all water systems to establish an INVENTORY of all service lines in their water system and submit it to the EPA by October 2024. The inventory identifies what material each service line is made of from the main line in the road into the house. The goal is to identify how many lead line services are in the system. After the inventory is completed replacement of these lines may be necessary.
When the District was established in 1967 it was designed to have poly service lines installed from the main line to the meter for each service connection. As the District began to install main water lines and services to the meter all services have been poly pipe (NO LEAD SERVICES). From the meter to the house has always been the Developer’s or property owner’s responsibility to install and maintain. These pipes have not been regulated by the District. However, the State of Utah adopted and began enforcing a no lead policy for all homes built after 1987.
With this new revision to the rule, EPA is now requiring each water provider to create an inventory for each service line on the homeowner’s side of the meter up to the house. Some of this can be accomplished through building codes and records, some can be done by inspecting the piping inside of the home, others may require excavating to expose the pipe going to the home (excavation will be avoided, if possible).
If you have any information regarding the type of pipe going from the meter box to the shut-off valve in your home, we at the District are requesting that you share that information with us. The attached flyer provides more information about how and where to identify what type of pipe you have in your home. As stated, we have to identify every pipe in the District, so we are requesting your help and cooperation in this endeavor.
Your inventory can be submitted by filling out the WATER SERVICE LINE INFORMATION form. It can also be submitted by email to: email@example.com text to: 801-430-5237 in person at 5555 West 5500 South, Hooper, UT 84315 or by mail to: PO BOX 217, Hooper, UT 84315.
Steps to identify your water service line material type
Step 1: find your emergency water shut-off valve
Once you find your emergency water shut-off valve or water meter in your home (usually in the basement), check the color and hardness of the pipe.
Galvanized Iron Pipe with a shut off valve Lead Pipe with a shut off valve
Step 2: check the pipe color
Check the color of the pipe coming out of the ground and into the shut off valve (see pictures above).
You may have to lightly sand the surface of the pipe. If the pipe is:
- Bright blue or black: It’s likely plastic tubing (polyethylene). Important: Don’t attempt to test the hardness of your pipe if you suspect it’s plastic.
- The color of a penny: It’s copper.
- Grey: It’s galvanized iron or lead.
Step 3: check with a magnet
A magnet will stick to a galvanized iron pipe. It will not stick to lead, copper or plastic pipes.
Step 4: check the pipe hardness
If you think your water service line could be lead, try gently etching into the pipe. Lead is a relatively soft metal and scratches easily. Do not attempt this if you think the line could be plastic.
Step 5: document and submit pipe information
Document pipe information with a picture of the pipe and write down the address of the home and the date the information was gathered.
*Picture is of a copper water service line coming out of the concrete floor and then a shut-off valve and then a copper line going into the house. The test should be performed on the part of the line between the floor and the shut-off valve. The pipe is scratched right below the shut-off valve and is copper in color.
For example, this picture would be submitted with a note of the address (5555 West 5500 South, Hooper, UT 84315 and the date (May 23, 2023) the information was gathered to Hooper Water Improvement District. The information can be submitted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by a text message to: 801-430-5237.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for District personnel to identify your water service line material for you, please call 801-985-1991 or send an email to email@example.com.
District staff is happy to help you identify your service line material. It is an easy process as you can see in this article: https://www.deseret.com/utah/2023/8/9/23820336/does-your-home-have-lead-pipes-epa-program
How can I limit my exposure to lead?
If you are concerned about lead in your drinking water, take the following preventive steps to limit possible exposure further:
- Flush standing water in pipes each morning by first flushing the toilet, washing your hands or letting the water run for five minutes or until it is cold to the touch. Flushing clears water from the plumbing and home service line to ensure the drinking water comes from the main service line.
- Use cold water for drinking and cooking. Hot water dissolves more lead from plumbing. Boiling water DOES NOT remove lead.
- Some home water treatment devices remove lead, but not all do. Before buying, check the various models and their specifications.
For more information from the EPA regarding the new Lead & Copper Rule Revisions follow the links below: