What are the potential issues with lead or galvanized service lines?

In drinking water, the primary source of lead is from pipes and indoor plumbing fixtures, which can present a risk to the health of children and adults. There is no safe level of lead exposure. Galvanized pipes are a concern alongside lead pipes, as they may contain lead that can corrode and leach into drinking water.


The City of Lancaster Bureau of Water conducts routine testing to ensure that our product meets all state and federal water quality requirements. Lead is not detected in City drinking water when it leaves the treatment plants and there is no current concern about lead at large in our water system.


Lead contamination of drinking water is often the result of corrosion in the plumbing or water service lines belonging to water customers. The Bureau of Water treats water to prevent corrosion and leaching of lead into the water supply.



What is the timeframe for replacement?

The exact timeline for replacement is in flux. The City must comply with the regulations of the EPA, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Per PUC requirements, the lead and galvanized pipes must be replaced within 25 years. However, recently proposed federal regulations, if adopted, would require the City to replace the lead and galvanized pipes within 10 years. The City will comply with the most stringent regulation. Once the regulation is clarified and the service line inventory is complete, the City will work to prioritize the replacement of the lead and galvanized lines within the given timeframe. Water customers will be given ample notice of when their line would be replaced.



What will the City’s follow-up be if I report that I have a lead or galvanized pipe?

City staff will review the information submitted to confirm that the service line is in-fact lead or galvanized. Once confirmed by City staff, the customer will receive follow-up instructions, including information on how to obtain a water filter and options for testing water for lead. This letter can be found here. Customers should be sure to include contact information when filling out the Water Service Line – Customer Survey.



What if I am unable to identify my service line material?

Please email info@cityoflancasterpa.gov or call the Water Quality Lab at (717) 291-4818 for assistance.



What if I don’t have access to a smartphone or the internet to submit the verification online?

Please email info@cityoflancasterpa.gov or call the Water Quality Lab at (717) 291-4818 for assistance.



Who is paying for the replacement?

While property owners are typically responsible for the customer side of the service line, the City of Lancaster has committed to replacing both sides if they are found to be lead or galvanized, in accordance with the regulations. The City is working to identify funding sources for this substantial project.



What happens if I don’t submit my information?

The City is required by the EPA to provide an initial inventory of its lead service lines by October 16, 2024. Outreach to properties that have not responded will add additional costs to the project. All unidentified lines will be assumed to be lead and the City will have to budget to identify the lines and replace any lead lines.



Why is this happening now? Why wasn’t this done when the City replaced water meters?

In 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an addendum to the 1991 Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) called the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR), establishing new requirements for protecting people from lead in drinking water. Under this addendum, water systems are required to provide an inventory of their lead service lines by October 16, 2024. The water meter replacement projected began in June 2018, prior to the new requirements.


Lead Service Line Inventory