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Get the Lead Out

Service Line Material Survey

Lead Service Line FAQs

Funding Information

For more information on lead service lines, please call the Cedar Rapids Water Division at 319-286-5900.

Lead Service Line Information

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The City of Cedar Rapids is committed to the public safety of our residents and to providing clean, safe, great-tasting drinking water now and into the future. Providing drinking water to the public is a highly regulated process, with regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). We take our mission seriously – our drinking water is highly monitored and tested, day and night throughout the year, to verify quality. One thing we regularly test for is the presence of lead in drinking water.

Lead is not typically found in the water sources that supply the City of Cedar Rapids' Water Treatment Plants. Lead can, however, be found in some homes with outdated plumbing materials. The primary sources of lead in drinking water are from lead or galvanized steel service lines, galvanized household plumbing, lead solder in old copper plumbing, or certain leaded brass fixtures (faucets, spigots, valves, etc.).

Cedar Rapids banned the installation of lead service lines in 1971. The Federal Ban on lead service lines and lead plumbing solder was imposed in 1986. Older homes and properties, especially those built before the 1950s, are more likely to be served by a lead service line and galvanized steel plumbing. You can check the material of your water service by performing the scratch and magnet test on your service line where it enters the building. Visit the Cedar Rapids Water Division’s (CRWD) Service Line Survey page at the link to the right for a short instructional video on how to determine your service line material and for a quick survey to help with our ongoing service line inventory.


What You Can Do to Reduce Exposure
Lead Service Reduce Risk Icons-Water Temp  Use only cold water for cooking, drinking, and preparing baby formula. Water from the hot water tap can have higher levels of lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
Lead Service Reduce Risk Icons-Run the Tap Before using water for drinking, cooking, or preparing baby formula (including using water or ice from refrigerators), flush cold water from your tap after it has been off for six hours or more. Flush until the temperature decreases. You can do this by things such as flushing the toilet, doing a load of laundry, watering plants, or taking a shower. The time to flush will vary depending on the length of the service line, typically 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Lead Service Reduce Risk Icons-Water Filter Point-of-Use drinking water filters that are rated to reduce lead content are available. More information is available at the EPA's website here.

Why Lead Matters to Us

Exposure to lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Additional information on the risks that lead poses to health and safety is available from the EPA at www.epa.gov/safewater/lead. This is why the Cedar Rapids Water Division (CRWD) has for decades maintained a corrosion control treatment and monitoring program. As part of this program, the CRWD adds a food-grade corrosion inhibitor to finished water at the water treatment plants. This corrosion inhibitor works by forming a barrier on the inside of pipes (or plumbing), protecting drinking water from coming into contact with the leaded pipe and minimizing the possibility of lead leaching into drinking water. The CRWD also collects samples each year from buildings served by lead service lines to verify the effectiveness of the corrosion control program.

The CRWD is prioritizing fully replacing lead service lines and any downstream galvanized steel private service lines throughout the distribution system. More information on the lead service line replacement program, funding opportunities for homeowners, and other steps the CRWD takes to minimize the risk of lead getting into drinking water is provided in the FAQs at the link below.


Lead Service Line Informational Video From the American Water Works Association

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