2018 Lead and Copper Compliance Sampling

Why Samples Are Collected

Sampling Instructions


Cleveland Water customers whose homes were chosen as a 2018 Lead and Copper Compliance Sampling location have been asked to watch the video on this webpage about how to properly collect a water sample.

  • If you have questions or need to schedule a pickup, please call 216-664-3171
  • To receive the $100 bill credit, customers whose homes were selected must collect the sample and schedule the pickup before June 11. The credit will appear on your bill within two billing cycles.

Customers that have lead within their in-home plumbing or service line connection who are interested in being considered for the next round of compliance monitoring can ask that their home be added to the collection site consideration list by calling 216-664-3171

For more information about lead, how to check your connection and test your plumbing, and what you can do to further reduce your risk of lead at home visit clevelandwater.com/lead.

Why We Sample

In 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water provided by public water systems. This regulation, known as the Lead and Copper Rule, has undergone various revisions. The most recent version is found in the Code of Federal Regulations 40 C.F.R. §§ 141.80-140.91.

The Lead and Copper Rule requires public water systems to implement treatment techniques to prevent lead and copper from leaching into drinking water from service lines and in-home plumbing and fixtures.

  • Since 1997, Cleveland Water’s treatment technique to prevent pipe corrosion and lead from leaching into water is to control pH and to add orthophosphate (phosphoric acid) at the end of the water treatment process. The orthophosphate creates a thin white coating on the inside of pipes that prevents water from coming into direct contact with the pipes. 

Fig. 1

  • When water leaves our four treatment plants, it is virtually lead-free. There is no lead in our distribution mains, water tanks, water towers or water reservoirs.

The Lead and Copper Rule also requires public water systems to monitor drinking water at customers’ taps, in homes that are known to have lead and/or copper in the system.

  • Following state and federal regulations, Cleveland Water distributes sampling kits to customers whose homes meet the criteria for sample collection. Customers are given detailed instructions on how to collect a first flush sample of cold water from their kitchen sink after water in their home has not been used for six hours or more.
  • Cleveland Water collects and tests the samples, then reports the results to the customer as well as the Ohio EPA.
  • Sampling results show Cleveland Water’s treatment techniques of pH control and adding orthophosphate at the end of the water treatment process is very effective.

  • Cleveland Water is required to routinely collect and test new samples. The results will show us if the dosage of orthophosphate that we have been adding to the finished water since 1997 continues to allow us to meet Federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards for protecting customers from lead and copper in their in-home plumbing. 

Sampling Instructions

The following information is intended for customers whose homes have been chosen as a water sample collection site for the Lead and Copper Compliance Sampling. Sampling instructions which were/will be delivered to your home by Cleveland Water employees are found below. They can also be downloaded as a PDF and printed by clicking on the links below. Please ensure you properly collect your sample and call Cleveland Water at 216-664-3171 to schedule a sample pickup by June 11, 2018.

At least two days before you plan on sampling, please do the following:

  • Make sure the sample bottle will fit under the kitchen sink faucet so it can be filled completely.
  • Do not remove the aerator (screen) from the faucet. Do not intentionally “hard flush” the faucet the day or two leading up to your sampling date. Just use the faucet as you normally would.
  • Make sure you have no faucet filter or under-counter treatment unit hooked up to the cold water on the kitchen sink. If you do, we will need to make alternate sampling arrangements – please call us.
  • Please make sure you know how to shut off any whole-house treatment units you may have (example: a whole house softener).
  • If you have any questions, please contact Chuck Smith at 216-664-3171 or Scott Moegling at 216-664-2444 x75583.

Sampling must be done after the faucet has been allowed to sit for at least 6 hours unused. This usually means sampling first thing in the morning, however, you could also sample first thing when you return home from work. IF AT ANY TIME WATER IS USED ANYWHERE IN THE HOUSE DURING THIS 6-HOUR PERIOD, YOU CANNOT SAMPLE AND MUST WAIT TO DO IT THE NEXT DAY. This includes flushing the toilet in the middle of the night if you plan on doing morning sampling.

The night before you sample, please do the following:

  • If you use a sink with a single handle faucet, turn off the hot water valve located under the sink. Turn the kitchen sink handle to the cold side and verify cold water only is coming out. Do not use the sink for a minimum of 6 hours.
  • Do not use this sink or any water fixture in your house for at least six hours. It may be helpful to place a note near all faucets in your house to serve as a reminder!

When you are ready to collect the sample:

  • First thing in the morning - fill the sample bottle up completely with cold water only. Use normal flow as if you are filling a glass of water
  • When you’ve filled the bottle, put the cap on securely. Turn the hot water valve back on.
  • Fill out the information on the back of this page and sign. Put the bottle and paperwork in the bag they came in. 
  • When your sample is ready for pickup, or if you have any questions, please call the lab at 216-664-3171. We will pick the sample bag from the same place we dropped it off it (usually a front porch).

We will keep all the information you provide on the Chain of Custody form confidential with the exception of what needs to be submitted to Ohio EPA. Please remember to complete the form which is on the back of the instructions provided to you in your sample kit. The form can also be downloaded here. Please be sure to sign the form and return it with your bottle in the bag they came in. We will provide you with the lead and copper results within two days of our analysis. The time from when we pick-up the sample from your house until we analyze all samples will vary.

If your lead test results are above 15 parts per billion, additional information will be provided. 

Please call 216-664-3171 when your sample is ready for pickup.  Please leave your phone number if you get the voicemail. We will respond as soon as possible. Thank you!

For more information about lead, how to check your connection and test your plumbing, and what you can do at home visit clevelandwater.com/lead or contact Cleveland Water’s Lead Inquiry Line at 216-664-2882.