Lead Service Line Replacement Program

 

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) estimates there are more than 80,000 lead service lines delivering water to homes in Detroit. In the city of Detroit, lead service lines are most likely to be found in single family homes built before 1945.

The water leaving the treatment plants that serve the city of Detroit does not contain lead, but lead can be released into drinking water from corrosion in lead service lines and household plumbing that contains lead. The water provided to DWSD customers contains a corrosion inhibitor to reduce corrosion of lead and other pipe materials into drinking water. If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health and developmental problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Since 2018, DWSD has been working to verify lead service lines and replace them as part of the Asset Management Program.

 

What is a water service line and who is responsible?

Do You Have a Lead Service Line?

As the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department (DWSD) continues to update our Verified Service Line Inventory records for the City of Detroit, we are also seeking grant funding for additional lead service line replacements, and your assistance in the verification process can be helpful to both you and your neighbors. DWSD continues to replace the existing lead service lines – the pipe providing water to a home from the water main – while on the same block as the water main replacement project. When your block comes up on the schedule, or if a grant funding is awarded to DWSD to perform individual lead service line replacement, we will notify you. Please note that completing this verification form does not guarantee DWSD will be able to replace your lead service line in the near future as that is dependent upon funding resources.

Before you complete the verification form, follow this online tool created by NPR to determine if you have a lead service line. During these steps, please take a photo of your service line taken near your basement wall or floor where the pipe enters your home to then upload when you submit the DWSD verification form.
 
Submit Your Lead Service Line Verification

Lead Service Line Replacement

While DWSD is on a block replacing a water main, it will identify which service lines are made of lead. With homeowner or occupant permission, the DWSD contractor will replace the lead service line at no cost to the property owner.

  • Do I have a lead service line? Use this online tool to find out.
  • How can I get my water tested? DWSD, in partnership with the Great Lakes Water Authority, will test for lead in the water at no charge at homes where a child has tested positive for elevated blood lead levels, or when DWSD is replacing a lead service line. Learn more at the Lead and Water Testing page, submit this online form or complete and download this form.
  • When can I get my lead service line replaced? DWSD will replace the lead service line, with homeowner/occupant permission, when workers on the same block replacing the water main. You may review the lead service line replacement information packet and sign the agreement in advance of the work.
  • How will I know if my street is next? DWSD typically plans water main replacement projects at least two years prior to doing the work, unless it's an emergency replacement. At least 40 days from the construction start, DWSD will reach out to residents and businesses with notifications.

Lead Testing

DWSD will test for lead in the water at no charge at homes where a child has tested positive for elevated blood lead levels, or when DWSD is replacing a lead service line. If a child in your home has an elevated blood lead level, please call the Detroit Health Department at 313-876-0133 for support and to request a test for lead in the water. If DWSD is replacing a lead service line at your home you will be contacted directly for sampling opportunities. Customers may also request a test for lead in water by completing a 

Lead and Copper Sample Request Form

. The participating household must collect the tap water sample by adhering to the provided instructions.  Any home where a collected sample has over 10 parts per billion of lead will be provided a water filter that meets the ANSI/NSF 53 standard for lead removal.