Lead Service Line Replacement

Fort Wayne City Utilities’ most important commitment is to the health and safety of our customers.

When drinking water leaves the Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant, it meets or is better than all state and federal standards require—this includes the standard for lead. However, lead can enter drinking water due to the corrosion of lead (should that pipe or “the lead pipe”) in the service lines between the public water main and a home or business. Lead may also enter drinking water from plumbing inside a building or lead solder used in plumbing fixtures.

Service Line Replacement as Part of Water Main Projects

When City Utilities engineers are designing water main replacement projects, they determine if the service lines between the water main and the homes or businesses along the main are likely to be made of lead pipe. Lead service lines are most likely in homes built and connected to public water mains before 1950. Therefore, during water main replacement projects in areas with lead service lines, City Utilities will replace the utility-owned portion of the service line as part of the water main replacement project.

City Utilities will only replace the portion of the service line owned by the utility. That is the section between the public water main and the curb stop or the location of the valve that turns water going to a building on or off. City Utilities recommends that when the utility-owned portion of the water service is replaced, the property owner should also replace the private portion of the water service line. However, we understand that this is not always possible.

Recommended Flushing After Partial Lead Service Replacement

After a portion of a lead water service line is replaced, if the remaining portion of the line is lead, the level of lead in household tap water may likely increase for a period. This increase in lead levels results from pipes being disturbed during the partial replacement. Lead may also continue to be released into the water from lead or galvanized pipes inside a building, or it may come from other sources of lead in the plumbing such as lead solder, if these have not been removed or replaced as part of the service line replacement.

How To Flush Pipes

  1. Remove faucet aerators from all water taps in the home.
  2. At the faucet nearest to the water meter, turn the cold water faucet on fully. Let the water run for 5 minutes and shut off the water before moving to the next tap.
  3. Repeat this procedure at the remaining faucets throughout the home or business from the lowest level to the last faucet on the top floor. It is essential to run water in all bathtubs, showers, and sinks.
  4. Customers should not consume tap water, open hot water faucets, or use ice-maker or filtered water dispensers until flushing is complete.
  5. Remove and clean faucet aerators and reinstall them on the faucet.

Download More Lead Water Service Replacement Information

Water Service Line Material Property Owner Survey

City Utilities has created a water service line material survey to help get records of pipe materials installed in people’s homes. Some programs may instruct property owners to click the button below and fill out a short survey.  If you were not instructed to fill out the survey, you may still submit the results. After submitting, you will be provided a self-assessment chart for what materials you may have.