Lead Awareness

Lead Awareness

Protecting public health is at the core of what we do at Louisville Water. In fact, Louisville’s drinking water is rated as one of the top in the United States. While Louisville Water replaced all its known lead service lines, water can pick up lead particles in privately owned pipes and plumbing materials made of lead. 

As part of maintaining excellent water quality, Louisville Water implements corrosion control strategies to minimize potential risks. Louisville Water’s scientists also conduct over 200 tests a day to ensure Louisville pure tap® is safe and high quality.

All of Louisville Water's lead service lines are out! 

Until the early 1940s, it was common for water utilities to install lead service lines. Over the last 50 years, Louisville Water spent over $50 million to remove approximately 74,000 lead service lines that were installed between 1860 and 1936 (lead was used again during World War II because of a shortage of copper).

Replacing these lead service lines started in the 1970s and as of spring 2020, Louisville Water reached a major milestone by completing the lead removal project. We’re now in a very small minority (really only a handful) of utilities across the country that have removed their known lead service lines.

Private Lead Lines

Lead can become a potential risk for drinking water in those homes that have a private lead service line or lead pipes. Older homes (those typically built before 1950) may have lead service lines on the customer's property that connect to Louisville Water's lines. Those water lines are the homeowner's responsibility.  

Louisville Water has a three-part plan in managing potential risks with lead from private lines:

  • Proactive customer education
  • Providing information on our private lead service line replacement program
  • Maintaining excellent water quality with corrosion control and continual research 

If you have any concerns regarding lead in your drinking water, we'll test your water for free. Ask us today to send you a water quality test kit (or call 502.569.0897).

Louisville Water has removed all known public lead service lines. Now we want to help you determine if there’s a lead line on your property. If there is, we can help. Use the Private Service Line Lookup tool to see if we have information for your property.

Private Outdoor Lead Service Line Replacement  Program

If you have a private outdoor lead service line, we want to help! Louisville Water will pay 50 percent of the cost for a licensed plumber to replace your private lead service line, up to $1,500. Most private outdoor service lines can be replaced for less than $3,000. If customers need assistance with the remaining cost, the Louisville Water Foundation grant program may provide support if they meet eligibility requirements. 

If you'd like to take advantage of the replacement program, please fill out this form and submit it to “Louisville Water Lead Project Manager” at leadservicepm@lwcky.com. Once it is received, someone from Louisville Water will contact you.  

Lead plumbing and lead soldered joints

Prior to 1986, it was common for contractors to use lead solder and fixtures containing lead. Until 2014, brass faucets and fixtures labeled as "lead-free” plumbing could contain up to 8 percent lead. If you feel this applies to your home, please read our customer tips for flushing your pipes.

Louisville's Water Quality

Lead is a metal that is found in natural deposits in the environment. The greatest exposure to lead is from swallowing paint chips containing lead or breathing in lead paint dust. Ingestion can cause health concerns for people of all ages, particularly pregnant women, infants, and young children. In children, low exposure levels are linked to learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and other issues.

Louisville’s drinking water does not contain lead when it leaves the treatment plants. Louisville’s drinking water meets all Environmental Protection Agency standards for lead under the Lead and Copper Rule. Lead is rarely found in source water, however water can pick up lead particles in private service lines and fixtures containing lead (i.e. water pipes, fixtures, and plumbing). With the Lead and Copper Rule, sampling occurs at the customer's tap in sites with known lead service lines or lead/copper solder. Louisville Water's results are below the EPA Action Level.

More detailed information about the overall water quality of Louisville's drinking water may be found in the annual water quality report. 

Again, if you have any concerns regarding lead in your drinking water. we'll test your water for free. Ask us today to send you a water quality test kit. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Additional Information

Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness

The American Water Works Association 

Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for additional information on lead. 

Visite la Agencia de protección ambiental para obtener más información sobre plomo.