Take Action – What You Can Do About Lead Pipes

What You Can Do:

The Northern Kentucky Water District (NKWD) is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water and replacing utility-owned lead pipes, but we cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components in your home.  

You share the responsibility for protecting yourself and your family from lead, if present, in your home plumbing. You can take responsibility by identifying and removing lead materials within your home plumbing and by taking steps to reduce your family's risk.

1. Identify your service line material

You can take responsibility for identifying plumbing materials within your home, including the service line going into the home. Use this two-step method for identifying plumbing materials.

2. Reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water

If you determine you have a lead service line or any other lead in your home, there are simple, but effective, steps you can take daily to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water such as:

  • Running your water to flush out potential lead. If the faucet hasn’t been used for several hours, run the water for 3 to 5 minutes to clear the water that has been sitting in the lines.

  • Always using cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula. Boiling water will not reduce lead.  Take measures to ensure that children don’t drink bath water.

  • Periodically removing and cleaning the faucet screen/aerator. While the screen is removed, run the water to eliminate debris.

  • You can also use a filter certified by an American National Standards Institute accredited to reduce lead in drinking water.

  • Consider investing in a home water treatment device

    • Make sure it is it is certified under NSF/ANSI 53 to remove lead.  Search for certified products at NSF International or by calling (800) 673-6275. You can also contact the Water Quality Association or by calling (630) 505-0160.
  • Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead

    • Brass faucets, fittings and valves may leach lead into drinking water. Products sold after January 4, 2014, must, by law, contain very low levels of lead.
  • Have a licensed electrician check your wiring.

    • Your home electrical system may be attached to your service line or elsewhere in your plumbing.  If this connection is electrified, it can accelerate corrosion.  Check with a licensed electrician to correct ground faults and evaluate your local electric code to determine if your wiring can be grounded elsewhere.  DO NOT attempt to change the wiring yourself because improper bonding or grounding can cause electrical shock and fire hazards.

Reducing Your Exposure to Lead Following a Lead Service Line Replacement

If you receive notice saying the utility’s lead service line was replaced, we strongly encourage you to follow all flushing recommendations and to replace your privately-owned lead service line.  We will provide, at no charge to you, a water filtering pitcher and replacement cartridges that are certified for lead removal for a reasonable period of time.

You may pick up these items from our office located at 2835 Crescent Springs Road in Erlanger during normal business hours (Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM).

Review the recommended flushing procedure.

Replacing Your Service Line

If you decide to replace your service line, please contact our office at (859) 578-5451, so we can review and document the type of service line material being replaced. 

Have Your Water Tested for Lead

You may contact a state-certified laboratory to request a test for lead, or you may contact our laboratory at (859) 441-0482 to request a free initial water test.  There may be a charge assessed for multiple tests.