Water Service Line & Meter Confirmation Survey

The City of East Lansing is currently seeking the help of property owners in updating its water service line and water meter records by taking a quick online survey. The survey is being conducted in order for City staff to plan future meter replacement and to help City staff and property owners identify water service pipes that may need repair or replacement in the future.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently considering new regulations that could require the removal of all lead components from water distribution systems across the country. In an effort to be proactive about the potential changes to federal regulations, the City is seeking to create an inventory of the type of pipe material used in water lines servicing East Lansing properties. Property owners with a galvanized pipe may have a lead gooseneck connecting their pipes to the City water main. If the EPA’s regulations were to change, it may be required for the City to replace the gooseneck and the resident to replace the pipe entering their home or business. View Utility Service Graphic (PDF).

Prior to Taking the Survey

Prior to completing the Water Service Line & Meter Confirmation Survey, property owners are asked to follow a few simple steps:

Step 1 (Optional)

Take a picture of the water service where it enters the home (inside) through the wall or floor.

If both the water service pipe and the meter are clearly visible, then one picture will suffice. The top photo is shown as an example.

If they are not both clearly visible, then take a separate picture of each. The bottom photos are shown as an example.
Water Service 2
Water Service 3
Water Service 4
Step 2
Identify the type of pipe coming into the home/business through the wall or floor as either plastic, copper, galvanized steel or lead. If unable to visually determine the material type, hold a magnet against the pipe. If the magnet sticks to the pipe, the material is galvanized steel and this step is completed. If the magnet does not stick and the pipe appears to be in good condition, gently scrape the pipe with a screwdriver or utility knife and use the characteristics below to help determine the material type. IMPORTANT NOTE: If the pipe entering the floor or wall is corroded or in otherwise poor condition, only perform the magnet test.

Pipe Material Identifying Characteristics:

1.) A plastic pipe should be easy to identify, can be many different colors and the pipe will not attract a magnet.  

2.) Scraping a copper pipe will reveal a shiny “new penny” color and the pipe will not attract a magnet.

3.) Scraping a galvanized steel pipe will reveal a silver/white color and the pipe will attract a magnet.

4.) Scraping a lead pipe will reveal a silver/white color and the pipe will not attract a magnet.
Step 3
Property owners can now take the Water Service Line & Meter Confirmation Survey to report their findings and upload their pictures.

Questions & Free Inspections

If property owners are unsure of the pipe material, they can call the East Lansing Department of Public Works' Meter Shop at (517) 337-9459 to ask questions and/or request a free inspection.