We are in the process of performing Curb Box Inspections throughout the City of Pittsburgh and Millvale to identify water service lines that are made of lead pipe. We are also digitizing our historical paper service line records. The map below shows the results of curb box inspections as well as available paper records for properties within our water service area.
Please note many of the historical records are from when the property was originally constructed and are no longer accurate. We will continue to update the map as we receive more up-to-date data.
The portion of the water service line that is public and owned by PWSA runs from the water main in the street to the “curb box” (water service shutoff valves, usually located in the sidewalk between the water main and the building). The remainder of the line that connects from the curb stop to the building is considered private property.
This searchable interactive map indicates the results where inspections have already occurred around the city and where PWSA plans to replace lead service lines in 2018:
Curb Box Inspections
In order to remove lead service lines from our water distribution system, we must first find out where they are located. To do this, we have established a Curb Box Inspection Program to generate an inventory of lead service lines and their locations through the PWSA water distribution system.
Water service lines are a joint responsibility shared by PWSA and the homeowner. PWSA owns the portion of the service line that runs from the water main in the street to the curb. The remainder of the line that connects from the curb to the home is considered private property.
Curb Box Inspection Process
A “curb box inspection” is completed by sending a camera down into the curb box, or the vertical shaft found in the front yard or sidewalk leading down to the curb stop. Our contractors can take pictures and inspect the curb stop to see if the pipe is made of lead, or a non-lead material.
A letter indicating their findings will be sent to residents after the inspections are completed. This process is faster and more cost-effective than digging up the service line for inspection.
If any portion of your service line is lead, PWSA recommends you reduce your risk of lead exposure by immediately following the flushing and filtering recommendations found on our website.
Curb box inspection data will be used in the lead service line replacement program. Our goal is to replace all lead service lines in the PWSA water distribution system. We cannot get to every service line immediately, but if you want to learn more about the quality of your water, you can request a free lead test kit by going to www.pgh2o.com/leadform or by calling the PWSA Lead Help Desk at 412.255.8987.
Creating a Lead Service Line Inventory With Michael Baker International
There are times where this method does not allow for a clear view of the service line due to shifting or obstructions in the curb box. In that case, instead of a material type being listed in your results, letter, you will receive a result of “unknown”. If any part of your results is “unknown,” out of caution, you should also flush and filter your water.