Lead Service Line Inventory

Posted on June 24, 2024

What is a Service Line?

In a water distribution system, a service line carries water from the water main (typically near or under the street) to your place of residence or business. The EPA classifies water service lines as any water line that is less than two (2”) inches in diameter. The City of Mebane owns and maintains the water service up to the meter, and the property owner owns and maintains the water service from the meter to the building. Provided below is a diagram of a typical water service line with the public and private ownership side labeled.

service diagram

Background about Lead Service Lines

Throughout the history of water utilities, Lead Service Lines were sometimes used as a water service material throughout the United States as a way to convey water from the main to a residential home or business. Due to a better understanding of Lead and the harmful long-term effects, many water projects limited the amount of lead that was used in construction of water mains and services starting around the 1930’s and 40’s. While lead was not used for the entirety of the service lines, there were lead fittings that were being used until 1986. In 1986, the US government passed a lead ban that stated that water piping or fittings that were to be used for distribution of water for consumption could not be lead. In 1992, the Safe Drinking Water Act was amended with an effective date of 1994 so that piping could not be manufactured with more than 8% lead and fixtures, solder or flux could not contain more than 0.2%. In 2011, congress passed the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (RLDWA) changing the definition of lead free from the 8% to a weighted average of 0.25% for all piping and fixtures while solder and flux remained at 0.2%.  In 2020, the EPA published the final “lead free” rule which requires manufacturers to constantly verify that materials are adhering to the 0.25% and 0.2%  standards. This updated rule also requires public water supply owners to create an inventory of service line materials to further identify and address potential sources of lead contamination within drinking water.

Requirements of the City of Mebane

As part of the EPA’s rule adoption in 2020, all public water suppliers are required to inventory the water service lines for residential single family, multifamily homes, daycares and schools. In an effort to comply with these rules, the City of Mebane has begun investigating water service material types in various locations around the City. The locations that were selected to be investigated first are areas of older homes and areas that have a higher probability of having a lead service line.

The City of Mebane was awarded a grant to begin the field investigations and has contracted with a local engineering consultant to lead the investigating efforts. In the coming weeks you may notice a contractor digging around the water service to identify the service material type. The contractor will be verifying the material of the service no less than eighteen (but no greater than twenty-four) inches away from the meter to comply with the EPA’s requirements. The contractor will be responsible for filling all holes in around the meter and sowing grass seed and straw on top of disturbed areas.

At the completion of the investigation, the City of Mebane will publish the results for residents to view. The City of Mebane will comply with the EPA regulations that requires all lead service lines to be replaced within ten years of the publishing of the service line inventory.

While the City cannot investigate every service at this moment, we do ask for your help. If you know the material of your water service, please send an email to the address below with your Name, Address, and Water Service Material. If you have recently replaced the water service at your home, please include the year the replacement was made.


We thank you for your help as we strive to keep the City of Mebane Positively Charming.

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