Department of Public Utilities Seeks Public’s Help to Identify and Inventory Lead Service Lines in Residential Properties

Department of Public Utilities Seeks Public’s Help to Identify and Inventory Lead Service Lines in Residential Properties

TROY, NY – Officials with the City’s Department of Public Utilities today announced the launch of an online survey to identify lead service lines at privately-owned homes and properties in the Collar City. The survey and instructions are available at

Chris Wheland, Superintendent of Public Utilities, said, “The City’s water mains distribute water to properties throughout the community. They are not made of lead. However, service lines running from a water main to private homes or businesses may be made of lead, especially if the structure was built before 1940.  The goal is to identify and map the remaining lead service lines in Troy in order to develop a comprehensive program to replace those lines. Participation from the public will be a vital and necessary component of successful mapping.”

Mayor Patrick Madden said, “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of the public, and to the removal of lead service lines from our system. Gathering information on where lead services are located within the City is an essential step in our ongoing efforts to help Troy residents eventually replace all lead service lines in the City.  We strongly encourage all Troy residents to participate in this important inventory.”

Troy residents can assist the Department of Public Utilities to locate and eliminate lead services by submitting information on their service lines at Step-by-step instructions for determining if your home has a lead service line are available at the above link. The information submitted will only be used to create an inventory to assist in program development.

Lead & Drinking Water

The City regularly tests for lead in its drinking water. Lead levels in the water from the Tomhannock Reservoir are non-detectable by current testing standards, and there is no measurable increase when water flows from the Tomhannock Reservoir to the water treatment facility. Nor is there an increased lead level in the water flowing in the mains running from the facility and beneath the streets. However, in some older homes lead may be present in the pipe connecting the home to the water system – known as a service line – or in the home plumbing. Lead in service pipes, plumbing or fixtures can dissolve, or particles can break off into water and end up at the tap.

To prevent lead from dissolving into water from lead service lines or home plumbing, the Department of Public Utilities adjusts the water’s chemistry at the treatment plant. This process is known as corrosion control. Water is sampled at homes considered to be high risk to ensure that our corrosion control procedures are and remain effective.

Lead in drinking water, although rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning, can significantly increase a person’s total lead exposure. Lead enters drinking water primarily from the corrosion or wearing away of material containing lead in water service lines and household plumbing.

Lead is a common naturally occurring metallic element that can be found in air, soil, and water. It is also a powerful toxin that is harmful to human health. Lead was commonly used in gasoline and paint until the 1970s and is still sometimes found in products such as ceramics, batteries, ammunition, and cosmetics. Because of its flexibility, lead piping was sometimes used for water services until the 1940s, predominantly in the service lines running between the water main, which is typically located in the street, and the served structure. The City wants to identify, map, and ultimately replace those services.

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Press Contact:
John Salka, Communications Director
[email protected] / (518) 279-7131

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About the City of Troy:

Incorporated in 1816, the City of Troy is the seat of Rensselaer County government and the county’s largest municipality by population. Situated on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, the City boasts seven miles of waterfront, a largely-preserved historic downtown, diverse neighborhoods, and several major colleges and universities. Troy’s history as the nation’s largest manufacturer of detachable cuffs and collars earned the City’s nickname “the Collar City.” A former steel & iron manufacturing powerhouse of the 19th and early 20th century, the City is now home to a growing hub of tech, game development, restaurants, and retail.

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