Straight from the Tap

What We Do About Lead: Monitoring


Cleveland Water has been regularly monitoring lead levels at customer’s taps since 1992 in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and Ohio's Lead and Copper Rules. These rules require public water systems to monitor drinking water in homes that are known to have lead and copper in their plumbing systems. Monitoring ensures that our corrosion control techniques are successful at keeping lead from leaching into drinking water.

Since 1997, when we began adding orthophosphate and controlling pH to help reduce potential exposure to lead from water, our Lead Compliance Monitoring results have been well below the U.S. EPA’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb).

Our system-wide treatment techniques are some of the best in the country. In our most recent Lead Compliance Monitoring test results, all results were below 3.3 ppb, with 90% below 1.8 ppb. To put that in perspective, 1 ppb is like a blade of grass on a football field.

The water samples for our Lead Compliance Monitoring tests are taken from homes throughout our 640-square mile service area that are known to have lead and meet the Ohio EPA's definition of Tier 1 Sampling Sites.

Tier 1 Sampling Sites are defined as single-family homes that contain at least one of the following:

  • Copper pipes with high lead solder installed between 1982 and 1989,
  • Lead plumbing pipes, or
  • City-owned and/or customer-owned lead service line.

If you think your home meets the Tier 1 requirements, you can volunteer your home to be added to our list of monitoring sites by calling 216-664-2882.