City Lead Water Service Line Map Now Available
The Columbus Department of Public Utilities has submitted and received approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) for a lead service line map that meets the requirements of HB 512 passed by the state legislature last year. The map is intended to show residents the possible presence of publically owned lead service lines that provide water to homes, businesses, and other structures.
“The map is useful in providing a very general indication where lead service lines can be found in Columbus and within our service area,” said John Ivanic, Public Utilities Assistant Director. “But as helpful as the map is, we wanted to go beyond the letter of the law and provide more detailed information to our 1.2 million customers.”
That is why the department has created an interactive map that allows the user to view publically owned lead service lines. The map allows the user to search by address or scroll to a street level view while providing links to information to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water.
Because the city continually uses an optimized corrosion control program that treats the drinking water leaving all three water plants, OEPA-mandated testing of the Columbus water continues to show no lead in the water leaving our plants. Lead can enter the water from household brass fixtures, lead pipes or lead solder, and most lead exposure in children can be traced to paint used in older homes.
If a homeowner knows they have lead pipes there are a number of simple steps to reduce further exposure to lead:
- Run the tap to flush your pipes: The most effective way to reduce exposure to lead is to run the tap for at least 30 seconds if you haven't used it for six hours or more.
- Clean your faucet aerator: Lead particles from pipes, fittings or solder can get trapped in the screen on the end of your faucet. Remove and clean aerators every few months.
- Use cold water for cooking and drinking: Lead dissolves more easily in hot water. Use only cold water for cooking, drinking or making baby formula. Boiling water does not remove lead. Flushing hot water tanks periodically is advisable.
- Know how your home is wired: A grounding wire attached to pipes may cause materials to corrode more. Check with a licensed electrician to see if there is another location for this wire.
- Have your home tap water tested: Contact the Ohio EPA for a list of certified labs that test for lead in water by calling 614-644-2752 or visiting the OPEA’s website.
For more information, call the Water Quality Assurance Lab at 614-645-7691, or view the Tips to Reduce Exposure to Lead in Water publication.