Lead and Copper Service Line Inventory
In an effort to expedite the inventory process, the Village of Western Springs would like to encourage each resident to fill out the Lead and Copper Service Line Survey web form for those residents that are aware of the material composition of their service line. For those residents that are unsure of the type of service their home features, the following education will help to identify key characteristics of both a lead and copper service line.
Identifying the material composition of your service line
- a key/coin
- a refrigerator magnet
- Locate the water service line coming into the home. This is typically found in the basement or lowest level of the structure. An inlet valve and the water meter are installed on the pipe after the point of entry.
- Identify a test area on the pipe between the point where it comes into the home and the inlet valve. If the pipe is covered or wrapped, expose a small area of metal.
- Use the edge of the key or coin to scratch through any corrosion that may have built up on the outside of the pipe. Do not use a knife or other sharp instrument and take care not to puncture a hole in the pipe.
- LEAD: Lead service lines are generally a dull gray color and are very soft. If the scraped area is shiny and silver, your service line is lead. The refrigerator magnet will not stick to a lead pipe. Lead service lines can also be connected to the residential plumbing using solder and have a characteristic solder "bulb" at the end, a compression fitting, or other connector made of galvanized iron or brass/bronze.
- COPPER: If the scraped area is copper in color, like a penny, your service line is copper. A magnet will not stick to a copper pipe, either.
- GALVANIZED: Galvanized piping can also be a dull gray color. If the scraped area remains a dull gray, the refrigerator magnet will typically cling to galvanized pipes.