How do I get my water tested?
To get your water tested, visit our lead testing page for a list of labs in Ohio certified to test for lead. Follow the instructions on their website (keep in mind their fees) to send them a sample. They should let you know when and how to view your results.
What are the different materials pipes can be made out of?
Copper, Steel, Iron, Concrete, Plastic
Does MCES still use lead pipe?
No. Currently, MCES uses ductile iron, pre-stressed concrete, and copper in both our repair and replacement projects.
How does lead get into my pipes in the first place?
Lead can get in the pipes when service pipes that contain lead corrode.
The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures with lead solder, from which high levels of lead can enter the water, especially hot water.
A number of factors are involved in the extent to which lead enters the water, including:
- The chemistry of the water (acidity and alkalinity) and the types and amounts of minerals in the water,
- the amount of lead it comes into contact with,
- the temperature of the water,
- the amount of wear in the pipes,
- how long the water stays in pipes, and the presence of protective scales or coatings inside the plumbing materials.
Lead service pipes were used in the United States up until the 1950s. Older properties, built before the 50s, could still have lead service lines. Service lines are what connect the water main to the household plumbing.
Solder is what connects the pipes in household plumbing. Lead solder was used up until 1987, so if your property was built before 1987, it is possible it could contain lead solder.
Will a commercial water filter remove any lead from the system?
NSF International has a thorough listing on which filters are certified to filter out lead and what to look for when buying a filter to make sure it filters lead. Check their website for more details.
How can I tell if my pipes are lead?
Scratch a penny on the surface of the pipe. If the penny leaves a mark, like this, , it is lead. If it doesn't, it is likely stainless steel or plastic.
For details on this, watch this video.
How can I get a lead testing kit?
You can get a lead testing kit by contacting our Environmental Lab at 937-781-3024.
There is a fee associated with the lead testing kit.
You can find more information about our lab on our website:
What additional actions can customers take to reuce or remove the potential of lead exposure?
1. Replace pipes and plumbing fixtures that could contain lead (see #5)
2. Replace pipes and plumbing fixtures which contain lead solder.
From the U.S. EPA:
- "Use only cold water for drinking, cooking and making baby formula. Boiling water does not remove lead from water.
- Regularly clean your faucet’s screen (also known as an aerator).
- Consider using a water filter certified to remove lead and know when it’s time to replace the filter.
- Before drinking, flush your pipes by running your tap, taking a shower, doing laundry or a load of dishes."
You could also use a water purifer. It looks just like a pitcher and works the same as a filter.