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City Seeks Property Owners' Assistance Updating Water Service-Line Records

City Seeks Property Owners' Assistance Updating Water Service-Line Records

August 6, 2021

The Cedar Rapids Water Division (CRWD) is asking for property owners’ assistance as the division works to update its records of water service lines. A service line is the connection between the water distribution pipes in the street and the water meter in a customer’s home or business. An updated citywide inventory is required under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s recently revised Lead-Copper rule. Residents are encouraged to complete the survey, regardless of the age of their home or business. 

 

Complete the survey 

Some older houses and buildings in Cedar Rapids still utilize lead plumbing, or may have a lead service line between the water meter and water main. Lead can leach into water during overnight contact with lead pipes and faucets in older buildings. To reduce the risk of dissolved lead from old pipes, CRWD adds lead corrosion control to its water supply. This consists of a very low concentration of zinc ortho-phosphate, a mineral that reduces the risk of dissolved lead in consumers’ water. This small amount has long been proven safe for consumption.

“We work hard every day to provide clean, safe, great-tasting drinking water for our customers,” said Amy Knudsen, water quality specialist for the City of Cedar Rapids. “We conduct a sampling program to ensure lead corrosion control is effective in homes with older service lines and plumbing. Our tests show most homes meet or exceed the safety standards set by the EPA. We perform additional sampling and analysis in those few instances where there might be a concern.”

The updated Lead-Copper rule instructs the CRWD to fully update its service-line inventory so the division can replace and improve a set amount of older lead pipe connections through a program that will span several years. Lead service lines discovered through this inventory will eventually need to be replaced.

“Any citywde inventory can be a costly undertaking,” said Knudsen. “Customer participation can reduce the expense of the inventory required by the EPA and reduce inconveniences associated with potential home or office visits.”

To better manage resources and costs, the CRWD is asking for help from residents and business owners to identify private water service-line material. Residents are encouraged to complete the survey, regardless of the age of their home or business. 

Complete the survey 

Information about Cedar Rapids' water quality and this service-line inventory was distributed in the May 2021 edition of OurCR and is available online at www.CityofCR.com/waterreport. Those with questions regarding their water quality may contact Water Division Customer Service by phone (319) 286-5900 or by emailing watermail@cedar-rapids.org.

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