Lead Water Service Line Information

Lead contamination in drinking water in other US cities has drawn attention to the potential public health risk of lead exposure from drinking water.  The City of Bowling Green is aware of these issues and takes special precautions to ensure lead contamination is not a problem for our water customers.      

Bowling Green Water Supply

There is no lead present in the drinking water as it leaves the Bowling Green Water Treatment Plant.  The City specifically treats the water to reduce the potential for lead to contaminate the drinking water.  The Ohio EPA requires the City to operate the Water Treatment Plant to meet Optimal Corrosion Control Parameter requirements which include adding orthophosphate to the water as a corrosion inhibitor.  Customers can view the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for information on lead sampling reported to the Ohio EPA.  

Potential Sources of Lead

Potential sources of lead inside the customer’s residence could be lead pipes, lead solder, or lead in plumbing fixtures.  The US EPA banned lead pipes, lead solder, and lead fixtures after June 1986.  The regulations were updated in 1996, 2011, 2013, and 2020.  

Another potential source of lead is the water service line pipe that delivers water from the City water main to the customer's residence.  Different materials have been used for water service line pipes such as lead, galvanized iron, copper, or plastic. In Bowling Green, only copper or plastic has been allowed to be used for water service line pipe material since 1967.    

Example Water Service Line Pipe Materials (PDF)

Ohio EPA has required all water suppliers, including Bowling Green, to provide information to customers on the water service line material used to serve the customer.  The water service line is the pipe that delivers water from the City's water main to the customer’s residence.  The City has created a Water Service Line Material Map to inform customers of the water service line material that serves their property.  

Water Service Line Material Map
Water Service Line to House Diagram (PDF)

City Responsibility

The City of Bowling Green is responsible to maintain the water service line from the City water main to the Curb Stop (valve). Typically, the curb stop is located near the curb, sidewalk, or right-of-way line at your property.  Several years ago, the City of Bowling Green replaced all known lead service lines that were the City’s responsibility.  There are some City water service lines where the pipe material is unknown and we are working to identify the pipe materials for every customer.   

Property Owner Responsibility

The property owner is responsible to maintain the water service line from the Curb Box (valve) to the building.  The owner can identify their service line pipe material by inspecting the pipe where the water first comes into the building.  Typically, the water meter will also be located very close to this point.  

Water Service Line Material Mapping

The Water and Sewer Division has begun the process of identifying and mapping water service line materials throughout the city. Residents must schedule a time with City staff or designated subcontractor (GIS Landmark) staff to provide access to their property to inspect their service line materials. These inspections will occur in phases across the city, and residents will be notified by door hangers when it is appropriate to schedule their inspection.

What this means:

  • Bowling Green City water is safe.
  • The City is required by the Ohio and US EPA to identify and map service materials within its distribution system.
  • City employees and GIS Landmark staff, hired by the City of Bowling Green, will be performing these scheduled inspections and can provide identification.
  • This scheduled inspection will only take a few minutes of your time.
  • Per Policy #3002 City of Bowling Green Policy Matters Governing Water Systems Operations – 6a:  Any identified employee or representative of the City Water Division shall at all reasonable hours, have access to the property for the purpose of examining pipes, meters, connections, and other appurtenances involving the City’s water supply and for examining, replacing, repairing or removing any meter, piping, instrument or connection that is part of the City’s water system. 

Residents are reminded that City staff, and contractors, will be wearing uniforms, driving marked vehicles, and carrying proper identification. Questions about this project or inspector identification verification can be directed to 419-354-6277 or 419-354-6236.  Safety concerns should be reported to the Bowling Green Police Division by calling 419-352-1131.