We’re Excited To Announce A New Utility-Wide Lead Service Line Replacement Program Where We Plan To Remove All Lead And Galvanized Steel Service Lines By 2031.
In accordance with the New Jersey Legislation signed into law on July 22, 2021, utilities must replace the entire length of the lead or galvanized steel service line from the water main in the street to the water meter on the home or building owner’s property.
The following information covers:
- Lead in drinking water
- Steps customers should take to prevent lead exposure
- Steps Middlesex Water is taking to address lead/galvanized steel in customer and company owned service lines
- Answers to frequently asked questions
Like many other water systems in New Jersey, the Middlesex Water system has older homes and buildings that may have lead and galvanized steel service lines. The service lines are small, buried pipes that bring water from the water main in the street to buildings. As water travels through the lead or galvanized steel service line, the corrosion of the pipe can add lead into the treated water delivered to customers. The treated water from Middlesex Water’s treatment plant and street water mains is otherwise lead free. Therefore, the existing lead service lines, lead solder in indoor plumbing, and lead in some older plumbing fixtures are the causes of lead in customers’ drinking water.
Exposure to high levels of lead is a serious health risk. Lead builds up in the body over many years and can cause damage to the brain, red blood cells, and kidneys. The greatest risk is to young children, pregnant women, and unborn babies.
Middlesex Water has been working with communities to reduce their lead exposure. To date, Middlesex Water has taken the following actions:
- Replaced most of the known lead service lines on the utility owned portion of the service line. MWC is in the process of replacing known galvanized steel service lines on utility owned portion of the service line, which can have some lead.
- Uses pH control and adds the corrosion control chemical, zinc orthophosphate as a treatment chemical. Zinc orthophosphate coats the inside of the service lines helping to minimize the amount of lead dissolving into the water.
- Tests water every six months in at least 100 high-risk homes in the distribution system, in compliance with state and federal requirements. The test results have never been above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lead or copper action levels per the Lead and Copper Rule.
A letter will go out (February 2022) to all Middlesex Water customers with known lead or galvanized steel service lines explaining a New Jersey Legislation signed into law on July 22, 2021, which requires water utilities to replace all lead and galvanized steel service lines by 2031. Middlesex Water is starting a program that will replace all remaining lead and galvanized steel service lines at no direct cost to the property owner.
Without financial help from the utility, a property owner would pay about $3000 to $5000 to replace their service line. Middlesex Water is not required to help financially but decided that a no cost program would be the best way to ensure public health. Since service lines are owned by both the property owner and Middlesex Water, the success of the program requires property owner collaboration. Middlesex Water needs your help to identify the material of the water service line located on your property, so we can replace lead and galvanized steel service lines with a copper service line. Information on how to identify your service line material and provide the results to Middlesex Water is provided in the section below “Getting the Lead Out- A Shared Responsibility”.
Getting the Lead Out: A Shared Responsibility
Ownership of the lead service line is shared between Middlesex Water and property owners, and depends on your water meter location.
If your water meter is located inside your home or building, Middlesex Water is responsible for the service line from the main in the street to the curb stop, typically at the property line or in the sidewalk. The property owner is responsible for the service line from the curb stop to the meter inside the home.
If your water meter is in a pit outside your home or building, Middlesex Water is responsible for the service line from the main in the street to the meter, including the meter. The property owner is responsible for the service line from the meter to the connection to the plumbing inside the home.
Since Middlesex Water cannot easily access the part of the water service line located on your property, we need your help to identify the water service line material on your property. You can use this guidance to determine your service line material.
Once you know your service line material, please complete this survey so Middlesex Water can update our records. An accurate inventory of service line materials helps Middlesex Water make sure that every lead and galvanized service line in the service area is removed. If you have a lead or galvanized service line, removing the service line from your property is a big opportunity to reduce the risk of lead getting into your water.
Once the property owner identifies a lead and galvanized steel service line, Middlesex Water will visit the property to confirm the findings and schedule your replacement at no cost to the homeowner.
To learn more about lead in drinking water, testing your water for lead, and water filters, see the Learn More section below under Program Resources.
View Our Current Inventory Map
You can use the map* below to look up your address in our records and learn if you might have a lead or galvanized steel service line.
View the Inventory maps above to see if we have information for your service line, if not The Materials Verification Test below can help you figure out if you have a lead, galvanized steel, copper, or plastic service line on the portion of the service line you own. When you have completed the visual inspection, please submit your results using the following survey link.
Middlesex Water Company
This tool is only for Middlesex Water customers in the Township of Woodbridge, the city of South Amboy, the Borough of Carteret, the Borough of Metuchen, the Township of Edison, the Borough of South Plainfield, the Township of Clark.
Simply search for your address using the search bar at the top-right corner of the map.
On a mobile device? We recommend using full screen app.
Can’t find your address? Please be sure you have entered it correctly in the search tool. If your address is not represented on the map or no instructions are provided, then our records indicate this address is not associated with a Middlesex Water account in our Enterprise system.
For Bayview Customers
For Pinelands Water Customers
Materials Inventory Survey – Help Middlesex Water Update Its Records
Middlesex Water needs your help in updating its records on the material of the service line on your property.
View the Inventory maps above to see if we have information for your service line. If not, if you can check to see if you have a Lead Service Line and report it to us via our survey tool.
The Materials Verification Test below can help you figure out if you have a lead, galvanized steel, copper, or plastic service line on the portion of the service line you own. When you have completed the visual inspection, please submit your results using the following survey link. If you have a lead or galvanized steel service line, Middlesex Water will contact you to confirm the results and schedule your service line replacement.
What you need:
- House key or coin
- Strong refrigerator magnet
Steps to check your service line:
- Find the water meter in your basement or outside your home and look at the service line that enters the water meter.
- Use the house key or coin to carefully scratch the pipe surface.
- Compare the scratched area to the following descriptions:
- If it looks shiny and silver, the pipe is made of lead. A magnet will not stick to a lead pipe.
- If it is a dull gray color with no noticeable scratch on the surface, the pipe is galvanized steel. A magnet will stick to a galvanized steel pipe.
- If it is the same color as a penny, the pipe is copper. A magnet will not stick to a copper pipe.
- If it is smooth and red, blue, white, or black, the pipe is plastic. A magnet will not stick to a plastic pipe.
- Report your service line material in this SURVEY
An accurate inventory helps Middlesex Water make sure every lead service line in the service area is removed.
Learn More about Lead in Drinking Water
Exposure to high levels of lead is a serious health risk. Lead builds up in the body over many years and can cause damage to the brain, red blood cells, and kidneys. The greatest risk is to young children and pregnant women and their unborn babies.
The following content provides information about:
- Public health risk from lead
- Flushing your service line to temporarily remove lead
- Water filters to remove lead
- Testing your water for lead
Public Health In children, low levels of exposure to lead have been associated with damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter height, impaired hearing, and impaired blood cell formation and function. Lead can also cross the placental barrier, exposing the fetus to lead, causing reduced growth and premature birth.
Most lead exposure comes from contaminated soil, dust, or paint chips. However, while rarely found in water leaving a treatment plant or traveling through a main, lead can be in drinking water. Lead enters water as a result of corrosion, as water comes into lead pipes connecting homes to water mains. Lead can also enter water when it comes in contact with lead materials in indoor plumbing and plumbing fixtures. Since you cannot see, taste, or smell lead in drinking water, customers should know if their service line or parts of home plumbing have lead, and replace what may have lead.
Flushing Your Service Line Flushing your water tap can help you avoid high lead levels. If your water has gone unused for more than 6 hours, let the water run for about five minutes before using it for drinking or cooking. Flushing means your water is coming directly from the main, where lead is rarely present, instead of coming from sitting in a pipe in contact with lead or lead parts.
Water Filters You can also purchase a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) 53-certified water filtration system, which can be installed at the faucet, or a filter pitcher that will remove lead. A water filter installed at the faucet will remove lead that may have entered the water from the service line, indoor plumbing, and plumbing fixtures. More information about NSF filters and a list of certified filters »
Water Testing You can also have a state-approved laboratory (Link to Testing for Lead in Drinking Water) test your water for lead. If the test shows a high value (more than 0.015 milligrams per liter), contact Middlesex Water for additional information on how best to protect yourself and your family. The following state-approved laboratories in Middlesex County are certified to analyze for lead:
- Accredited Analytical Resources, LLC, Carteret Boro, 732-969-6112
- Eurofins Test America, Edison, 732-593-2519
- SGS North America, Inc, Dayton, 732-329-0200