Minnesota Water Service Line Inventory

Minnesota Water Service Line Inventory

A service line is the pipe connecting the water main to the interior plumbing in a building. Service lines can be constructed using several types of materials. A lead service line is made from lead or has lead components. There are estimated to be 100,000 lead services lines in Minnesota.

As part of a nationwide initiative related to the Lead and Copper Rule, the Minnesota Department of Health is requesting residents and property owners to submit information on their water service pipe material. This initiative will allow water providers to document the presence of lead service pipes in their systems. Thanks to federal and state funds, lead service line replacement is available at no cost to the resident or homeowner.

If a response and photo is not received by June 1, 2024, you may be contacted to schedule an in-home assessment of the water service line.

Test and Report

It only takes 5 minutes

The following survey should take approximately 5 minutes and walk you through how to find your property’s water service pipe. To complete the survey, you’ll also need a coin, magnet, and smartphone. Please follow the directions in the survey for specifics. If a response and photo is not received by June 1, 2024, you may be contacted to schedule an in-home assessment of the water service line.

Learn the Difference

Testing your pipes

This video will help you determine the different types of pipe and what may be in your home. Collect your coin, magnet and smartphone and watch to learn how to test. Then you can submit your survey online below.

The Road to Zero

When water leaves treatment plants, it’s lead-free. However, on its way to your home or business, it can pick up lead from old pipes. In Minnesota, we’re fortunate that most of our water infrastructure doesn’t include lead pipes, but it’s essential to locate and replace the few that still exist to maintain safe drinking water standards.

Clean Water Faucet for North Dakota Lead Service Line Inventory
Plastic water pipes

Plastic pipes are found in a variety of materials and colors. When tapped with a coin, they won’t produce a ringing sound like the following metal pipes will.

testing pipe with coin for North Dakota Lead Line Inventory

When scratched, the pipe is made of copper if it becomes orange and shiny like a penny. A magnet will NOT stick to it.

Magnetic Steel Pipe
Galvanized Steel/Iron

If the pipe is silvery gray and hard to scratch, place your magnet on it. If the magnet sticks, your pipe is galvanized steel or iron.

Lead pipe testing for North Dakota Lead Line Inventory

If the pipe is silvery gray and: 1) is easily scratched, 2) the metal seems soft, and 3) a magnet doesn’t stick to it, you likely have a lead pipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t complete the survey?

If we suspect your survey line has lead and we don’t receive a survey response from you by June 1, 2024, you may be contacted for an in-home assessment of the water service line.

Who pays for lead service line replacement?

Thanks to federal and state funds, lead service line replacement is available at no cost to the city, resident or homeowner. If you suspect you have a lead service line, talk to your public water system to learn about the next steps in the process of lead service line removal and replacement.

What is the water service line and who owns it?

Service lines carry water into your home from the water system’s water pipe. Although each community may vary, the service line in its entirety, from the street to the building or home, is generally considered private (owned by the water customer) since its sole purpose is the convey potable water to a single dwelling, business, or building. Often the portion of the pipe within the right-of-way or from the property line/easement is maintained by the water system. Each water system has its own setup and therefore contact your water system to verify the actual location of where the service line transitions from public to private for you.

Where do I need to look in my home to fill out this survey?

We’re looking at the stretch of pipe where it comes into the basement/house before it attaches to the water meter, if there is no water meter, then the test is somewhere within the first 18” of where it comes into the basement/house.

How do I know if I have a lead service line at my location?

Take the survey here. It will have easy-to-follow instructions to identify the type of material your service line is made of. You will be able to report your findings and follow the steps to provide for the inventory.

Is the Water Service Line Survey available in paper (non-electronic form)?

The preference is to complete the survey online. If you need assistance, please contact your Water Service Provider or call (701) 751-8363 and someone will help you.

How quickly should my service line be replaced if it is lead?

If you believe you have a lead service line, you can have your water tested and use a water filter certified to remove lead (be sure NSF/ANSI 53 is included on the packaging for proper certification to meet standards in removing lead) until the line is replaced. Contact your water provider for more information about testing your water and replacement.

If my neighbor is asking questions about the Water Service Line Survey, will they also need to fill out this survey?

Water systems across the state of Minnesota are part of a nationwide initiative. They should contact their water provider to confirm which survey is correct for their property.

If my home or building was constructed after 1987, do I need to fill out the survey?

Yes. While all homes and buildings with service lines newer than 1987 are lead-free per the Safe Drinking Water Act Lead Ban in 1987, you still need to be included in the survey. Your water system may have already taken care of this for you by providing your address and verification of non-lead based on publicly available records such as building permits and tap records.

Who is responsible if internal plumbing or fixtures inside my home are lead?

This is not currently part of the inventory. However, if you have lead inside your home or building, it is the responsibility of the owner.

What if I have a private well and I am not purchasing water from a water system?

We encourage you to review the information anyway, even though you are not included in the project, the information on the website and the customer survey are open to the public and available to you for educational purposes. If you feel you have a lead service pipe, we encourage you to contact your local plumber.

Where do I look for my water service pipe?

The customer survey will walk you through this very question. Water customers should be checking their service pipe in the first 18 inches where it enters the home or business. This is generally in a basement, a crawl space, and/or in a utility room.

Where can I find additional resources?

Please visit the Minnesota Department of Health Website here!

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