Lead Service Line Information
The City of Cedar Rapids is committed to the public safety of our residents and to providing clean, safe, great-tasting drinking water now and into the future. Providing drinking water to the public is a highly regulated process, with regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). We take our mission seriously – our drinking water is highly monitored and tested, day and night throughout the year, to verify quality. One thing we regularly test for is the presence of lead in drinking water.
Lead is not present in drinking water when it leaves our water treatment plants. Lead can, however, be found in some homes with outdated plumbing materials. The primary sources of lead in drinking water are from lead or galvanized steel service lines, galvanized household plumbing, lead solder in old copper plumbing, or certain leaded brass fixtures (faucets, spigots, valves, etc.).
Cedar Rapids banned the installation of lead service lines in 1971. The Federal Ban on lead service lines and lead plumbing solder was imposed in 1986. Older homes and properties, especially those built before the 1950s, are more likely to be served by a lead service line and galvanized steel plumbing. You can check the material of the private side of your water service by performing the scratch and magnet test on your service line where it enters the building. Visit the Cedar Rapids Water Division’s (CRWD) Service Line Survey page at the link to the right for a short instructional video on how to determine your service line material and for a quick survey to help with our ongoing service line inventory.
COMPLETE THE SERVICE LINE SURVEY!
Why Lead Matters to Us
Exposure to lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Additional information on the risks that lead poses to health and safety is available from the EPA at www.epa.gov/safewater/lead. This is why the Cedar Rapids Water Division (CRWD) has for decades maintained a corrosion control treatment and monitoring program. As part of this program, the CRWD adds a food-grade corrosion inhibitor to finished water at the water treatment plants. This corrosion inhibitor works by forming a barrier on the inside of lead service lines, protecting drinking water from coming into contact with the leaded pipe and minimizing the possibility of lead leaching into drinking water. The CRWD also collects samples each year from buildings served by lead service lines to verify the effectiveness of the corrosion control program.
The CRWD is prioritizing fully replacing lead service lines and any downstream galvanized steel service lines throughout the distribution system. More information on the lead service line replacement program, funding opportunities for homeowners, and other steps the CRWD takes to minimize the risk of lead getting into drinking water is provided in the FAQs at the link below.
LEAD SERVICE LINE FAQS
Lead Service Line Informational Video
From the American Water Works Association