Lead Service Line Project

Lead Information

This October, The District will begin a project to remove all remaining lead service lines identified in our system.  The areas identified were in Rossford and the Homecraft area of Northwood.  Homeowners who are impacted by the project have been sent a letter of notification.

Please note that all drinking water, within The District system, including that which has been identified to be replaced by our project, is safe to consume.  See below for more information on lead.



The District advises you consult a certified plumber if you have concerns about lead in your household plumbing. Click here for an online guide to test for lead pipes in your house.

District Lead/Copper Replacement Project

On June 5,  2018, The District sent all 322 residents impacted by the project a letter with information regarding the project.  CLICK HERE to view the letter.

Although a small amount of our system is impacted, it’s important to The District to ensure quality water in your homes. Ever since the District was formed twenty-seven years ago, we have been replacing lead service lines during routine maintenance.

This summer, The District will start an $883,000 project to replace all known lead service connections.   Speer Bros., Inc. of Sandusky, Ohio,  will serve as the prime contractor for this project.

If you have any questions regarding lead service lines, please contact the Northwestern Water and Sewer District Engineering Department at 419-354-9090 EX 125.  Matt Dennis, has been assigned as the new project manager.

Customer Information

Lead and Copper Service Lines

Under Ohio law (HB 512) established in June 2016, public water systems were required to identify areas that are known to contain or likely to contain lead and copper service lines by March 2017. The law requires community water systems to identify and map areas of their distribution systems that are known or likely to contain lead/copper waterlines lines that service residential and business customers. The maps will be used by Ohio EPA to ensure that the proper lead and copper sampling is done in areas of lead service lines.


Lead and Copper Locations

The Northwestern Water and Sewer District serves approximately 19,800 water customers in Wood, Sandusky, and Hancock counties. The good news, less than 1% of our customers had or were likely to have lead service lines.   The District found evidence of lead service lines concentrated in Rossford and the Homecraft area of Northwood.


What if your house is identified with lead and copper lines?

If you have a home or rental property identified on THE DISTRICT LEAD AND COPPER MAP, you will be notified by The District via mail.

Prior to work on your property, The District and/or contractor will place a door hanger at your residence and use our auto calling system.   If you have not done so, we ask you SIGN UP HERE for automated calls.  Please make your contact information is updated if you have signed up.

During the project, a District inspector or project manager will be on site, feel free to ask them questions throughout the project.

You may also contact Matt Dennis, Project Manager at mdennis@nwwsd.org or call Ray at 419-354-9090 EX. 125.

What can I do to reduce risk of exposure to lead?

If you know or suspect that you have lead service lines or plumbing, there are ways to reduce your exposure to lead in your drinking water:

  • Run your water to flush out lead. If you haven’t used your water for several hours, run your cold tap for one minute before using for cooking or drinking. Homes with longer lead water service lines may require flushing for a longer period of time. Using toilets, washing clothes, showering, or doing dishes before you drink from your tap are all ways that you can flush your service line without wasting water.
  • Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Lead dissolves more easily in hot water. Do not drink, cook with, or make baby formula using hot water.
  • Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
  • Look for alternative sources or treatment of water. Purchase an NSF/ANSI 53 water filter that is certified to remove lead. Customers can also choose to drink bottled water.
  • Identify if your plumbing fixtures contain lead. There are commercially-available lead check swabs that can detect lead on plumbing surfaces such as solder and pipes. Consider having lead-containing pipes and fixtures replaced.
  • Get your child’s blood tested. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about exposure.

What is the District doing about Lead and Copper Lines?

In 2016, The District identified areas with possible lead/copper service lines. The District reviewed historic building data, tap records and maintenance logs to identify lead and copper pipes.

In January 2017, The Board of Trustees approved a project to remove the 322 remaining lead service lines.  This project is expected to begin in October 2018.


Although over 99% of The District’s water customer’s service lines were found to be lead-free.

Lead enters drinking water through corrosion in lead pipes or plumbing materials. The source of lead in water could be old service lines that connect homes to the water main in the street. These service lines are a joint responsibility. The District owns the portion of the line from the water main to the curb, and homeowners are responsible for the portion from the curb to their home.

Additional sources of lead in water include:

  • Interior lead pipe
  • Interior galvanized pipe (especially if there was, or is, a full or partial lead service line)
  • Interior copper pipe with lead soldered joints (installed prior to 1988)
  • Interior plumbing fixtures (purchased or installed prior to January 2014 before the effective date of new definition of “lead-free”)

What is lead?

Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around homes. The primary source of lead exposure for most children is lead-based paint in older homes. Lead in drinking water can add to that exposure.

Uses for lead?

Lead is sometimes used in household plumbing materials or in water service lines used to bring water from the main to the home. Lead was banned from plumbing materials used to provide water for human consumption in 1986. The Safe Drinking Water Act states that only “lead free” pipe, solder, or flux may be used in the installation or repair of plumbing materials.

Action Level for Treatment Technique = 0.015 milligrams per Liter (mg/L) or 0.015 parts per million (ppm)

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal MCLG = 0 mg/L or 0 ppm

Sources of Contamination

Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits.
Click here to see a diagram of typical household lead sources

Health Effects

Children: Delays in physical or mental development
Adults: Kidney problems, high blood pressure

How can we help you?