Lead Awareness FAQs

Private Lead Service Line Replacement Program FAQs

Does my drinking water contain lead? Louisville’s drinking water does not contain lead when it leaves the treatment plant and as it travels through Louisville Water’s distribution system. However, if your private service line on your property is lead or you have lead plumbing in your home, it is possible that lead might leach into your water from your private lead service line.

Is Louisville Water’s service line to my house lead? No, in early 2020, Louisville Water completed their Lead Service Line Replacement Program. There are no known public lead service lines in our system. 

How do I find out if I have a private lead service line? If Louisville Water informed you through a letter that your private service line is lead, then our records indicate that at least a portion of your private service line is lead. We highly recommend replacing this line. This private line would begin at the property line connection and run to the water shut-off valve for your home. This line is the customer’s responsibility. Louisville Water does not have information for all private service lines. A licensed plumber can also check your line to see if it’s lead. If you would like us to test a water sample from your home, request a water quality test kit through this online form or call 502.569.0897.

Why should I replace my private lead service line? If your private service line on your property is lead or you have lead plumbing in your home, it is possible that lead could leach into your drinking water. Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels, especially in pregnant women and children under six years old. The best way to eliminate lead from leaching into your water is to remove your private lead service line, if you have one.

What if my private service line is galvanized? If your galvanized service line was previously connected to lead, we recommend replacing.  You many be eligible for the Private Lead Service Line Replacement program.  For more information please call 502.569.0897 or email leadservicepm@lwcky.com.

What should the plumber replace? If your private service line is lead, it will need to be replaced where it connects outside your home at the property line connection to the water shut-off valve in your home.

How long will the private lead service line replacement take? It depends on the plumber who is doing the work, but typically it takes one day.

Do I have to be home when my private service line is replaced? Yes. The plumber will need access to your home. The private service line connects outside your home at the property line connection, but the plumber will need access to your home at the water shut-off valve location.

Will my water service be off during the work? Yes. In order for the line to be replaced, water to your home will be shut off temporarily.

Will Louisville Water crews do the work to replace my private line? No. A licensed plumber must do the work.

Is there a list of plumbers Louisville Water recommends? No, any plumber who is licensed can do the work. We ask that you get at least two estimates for the work to ensure a fair price.

Do I have to obtain multiple quotes for replacement, or can I use the quote of someone I know that is licensed? You must get at least two quotes.

Does Louisville Water need to see the plumber quotes for replacement work? Yes. In order to participate in this program, Louisville Water needs to approve the quote before the work begins. Send copies of the two (or more) quotes, along with the Private Outdoor Lead Water Service Line Replacement Program Agreement, to the Louisville Water Lead Project Manager at leadservicepm@lwcky.com or through the mail (Louisville Water, Attn: Lead Project Manager, 550 South 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40202).

Who pays the plumber? Talk to your plumber about payment options. Either the customer can pay the plumber and seek the partial reimbursement from Louisville Water, or the plumber can bill Louisville Water for our portion of the costs.

Can I do the work myself? No. Replacing a private lead service line requires a plumbing permit. A licensed plumber must perform the work in order for Louisville Water to pay half the cost.

Should the plumber remove the dielectric coupling (plastic installed between Louisville Water’s copper line and your private service line)? Yes. It is not needed after the new private service line is installed.

Who does the plumber contact if they have questions? Please call 502.569.0897 or email leadservicepm@lwcky.com.

What happens after the service line is replaced? The service line needs to be ‘flushed’ for 60 minutes initially and then for five minutes each day for 30 days. We have a video that shows you how to do it. You will also need to clean your aerator screens of any particles that many have broken loose during the replacement work.

Why is it necessary to “flush” my water lines for 60 minutes initially and then for five minutes each day for 30 days? Flushing will remove any particles that were loosened during replacement work.

Do I get a flushing credit? Yes. Louisville Water will credit your account $10 for the water that was used while flushing.

Do I have to pay to replace my private lead service lines? Yes, but Louisville Water will help. Louisville Water will pay 50 percent of the replacement cost, up to $1,500. Most private outdoor service lines can be replaced for less than $3,000.

What if I can’t afford my portion of the bill? If you need assistance covering your portion of the cost, there are programs that can provide support if you meet certain criteria. Please call 502.569.0897 or email leadservicepm@lwcky.com for more information on those assistance programs.

What is the timeframe for reimbursement to me or the plumber? Approximately two weeks for Louisville Water.

What’s the criteria to receive additional support from agencies that will help pay for my half of the cost? Please call 502.569.0897 or email leadservicepm@lwcky.com for additional information.

What if the plumber requests full payment before I can receive the support from the organizations that will help me with my portion of the costs? Typically, after the work is complete, the plumber will be paid directly from the organizations that are helping to pay your portion of the bill. This usually happens within two to three weeks. Find a plumber that will agree to these terms.

Can I get my water tested? Yes. If you have any concerns regarding lead in your drinking water, we'll test your water for free. Request a kit be sent to you or call 502.569.0897.

What if I have already replaced my private service line? Please let Louisville Water know so that we can update our records (and stop sending you letters!). Please call the 502.569.0897 or email leadservicepm@lwcky.com.