Report Your Service Line

Report Your Service Line


Lead does not naturally occur in drinking water sources. All pipes, tanks and equipment throughout the treatment process within the water plant are lead free, therefore the treated drinking water leaving the water treatment plant and entering the distribution system is lead free. Drinking water enters the city-wide water distribution system composed of pipes varying from 4” to 24” in diameter and made of cast iron, ductile iron, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). None of the City owned pipes contain lead.

So, you may ask, how does lead get into the drinking water?

Some of the water service pipes that connect your home to the City’ s water main and/ or the plumbing in your home may be made of lead or contain lead. When corrosive water remains dormant in these pipes for an extended time (6 hours or more), lead can slowly “leach” (absorb) into the water. The City of East Moline treats and distributes drinking water using a process that is NOT corrosive.

Sources of Lead  in Drinking Water - EPA image


service-line-inforgraphic Q1 2021

A service line is the pipe that runs underground and connects the City's water main to your home. It comes into your home in your basement. Service lines may be composed of one or more materials, including lead, galvanized, copper, plastic or brass pipe.


City Water Department Seeks to Identify Every Line in to the City

Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’ s bones, which may affect brain development.

Identify illus 3

For this reason, the City is asking your help to identify every service line within our community. Identifying service line materials is usually simple and in most cases can be done by anyone. We are asking residents to follow the steps below to identify their service line materials and then report them to the City to help us understand where we have lead service lines throughout the City.

Locate the water service line coming into your home

1) The water service line is typically found in the basement.  An "inlet valve" and the water meter are installed on the pipe after the point of entry.  Identify a test area on the pipe between the point where it comes into the building and the inlet valve.  If the pipe is covered or wrapped, expose a small area of the metal.

Pipe Parts

2) Scratch the surface of the pipe.  Use the Flat edge of a screwdriver or another tool to scratch through any corrosion that may have built up on the outside of the pipe.

3) Compare your pipe to the chart below.  Each type of pipe will produce a different type of scratch, react to the magnet differently and produce a unique sound when tapped with a metal coin.

Scratch Test Chart

The Scratch Test

If the scraped area is shiny and silver, your service line is lead.

If the scraped area is copper like a penny, your service line is copper.

If you scraped area remains a dull gray your service line is galvanized steel.

The Magnet Test

A magnet will not stick to a
 lead piper

A magnet will not stick to a
 copper pipe

A magnet sticks to a galvanized steel pipe.

The Tapping Test

Tapping a lead pipe with a
 coin produces a dull noise

Tapping a copper pipe with a
 coin will produce a metallic
 ringing noise

Tapping a galvanized pipe with
 a coin will produce a metallic
 ringing noise.

Report Your Service Line