Service Line Inventory
Lead and Drinking Water
Starting in 2022, the Town of Putnam’s Water Authority is doing an inventory of the water service lines in our community. The inventory will identify the material of your service line, including if your service line is made of lead.
Our recent drinking water test results are below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) lead or copper action levels. For detailed information about the Water Authority’s water system and testing, visit our water and sewer page.
What is the Water Authority Doing to Remove Lead From Drinking Water?
The drinking water from the Water Authority’s treatment plant that travels through the street water mains to your house is lead free. The Water Authority also uses corrosion control treatment, decreasing the amount of lead that can go from the lead or lead-containing service line pipes into the water. The Water Authority tests the water in the system, following state and federal requirements.
Today, lead service lines, lead solder in indoor plumbing, and lead in older plumbing fixtures can cause lead to be in your drinking water.
A service line is a pipe that connects the water main in the street to building plumbing.
In Putnam, the Water Authority is responsible for the service line from the main in the street to the curb stop, typically at the property line or in the sidewalk. The property owner is responsible for the service line from the curb stop to the meter inside the home. Some homes in the Water Authority service area were built before the 1986 Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which mandated that new plumbing materials be lead-free. So, older homes may have lead or lead-containing service lines.
The USEPA Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) support removing lead from drinking water. The revisions require water utilities to create and submit lead service line inventories by October 16, 2024, and then come up with a plan to replace lead and lead-containing service lines.
What Can You Do to Help?
SERVICE LINE INVENTORY UPDATE
The Water Authority is compiling a service line inventory to meet the LCRR. You can use the map below to look up your address and learn if we know the material of your service line.
Now, you can help improve our accuracy. If your service line material is listed as “unknown” in the map above, you will be receiving a postcard in the mail to complete a survey. Please take the following steps to check and report your line material. When you have completed the process, please submit your results here in this online survey.
CHECK YOUR LINE
Take the following steps to figure out if you have a lead, galvanized steel, copper, or plastic service line for the part of the service line you own. Lead is not safe for drinking and can get into water through lead water service lines.
When you have completed the steps, please submit your results using the following link: online survey. If you have a lead service line, the Water Authority will contact you to confirm the results and discuss next steps.
What you need:
1. House key or coin
2. Strong refrigerator magnet
Steps to check your service line:
1. Find the water meter in your basement and look at the service line that enters the water meter from the foundation. The image below is what your water meter looks like.
2. Use the house key or coin to carefully scratch the pipe surface.
3. Compare the scratched area to the following descriptions:
a. If it looks shiny and silver, the pipe is made of lead. A magnet will not stick to a lead pipe.
b. If it is a dull gray color with no noticeable scratch on the surface, the pipe is galvanized steel. A magnet will stick to a galvanized steel pipe.
c. If it is the same color as a penny, the pipe is copper. A magnet will not stick to a copper pipe.
d. If it is smooth and red, blue, white, or black, the pipe is plastic. A magnet will not stick to a plastic pipe.
4. Report your service line material:
STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF IF YOU HAVE A LEAD SERVICE LINE
Flush your water tap: If your water has gone unused for more than six hours, let the water run for about five minutes before using it for drinking or cooking. Flushing means your water is coming directly from the main, where lead is rarely present, instead of coming from sitting in a pipe in contact with lead or lead parts.
Buy a lead filter: A National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) 53-certified water filtration system can be installed at the faucet, or be a filter pitcher that will remove lead. A water filter installed at the faucet will remove lead that may have entered the water from the service line, indoor plumbing, and plumbing fixtures. For more information about NSF filters and a list of certified filters, please visit the NSF Filter Website.