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Water Service Line Inventory

Starting in 2023, the Town of Middlebury's Water Department is doing an inventory of the water service lines in our community. The inventory will identify the material of your service line, including if your service line is made of lead.

Our recent drinking water test results are below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) lead or copper action levels. For detailed information about the Water Department's water system and testing, visit the water department page.

What is the Water Department Doing to Remove Lead From Drinking Water?
The drinking water from the Water Department treatment plant that travels through the street water mains to your house is lead free. The Water Department also uses corrosion control treatment, decreasing the amount of lead that can go from the lead or lead-containing service line pipes into the water. The Water Department test the water in the system, following state and federal requirements.

Today, lead service lines, lead solder in indoor plumbing, and lead in older plumbing fixtures can cause lead to be in your drinking water.

A service line is a pipe that connects the water main in the street to building plumbing.
Water Service Line Illustration

Please note: This diagram is a generic representation. Variations may apply.

In Middlebury, the Water Department is responsible for the service line from the main in the street to the curb stop, typically at the property line or in the sidewalk/driveway. The property owner is responsible for the service line from the curb stop to the meter inside the home. Some homes in the Water Department service area were built before the 1986 Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which mandated that new plumbing materials be lead-free. So, older homes may have lead or lead-containing service lines.

The USEPA Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) support removing lead from drinking water. The revisions require water utilities to create and submit lead service line inventories by October 16, 2024, and then come up with a plan to replace lead and lead-containing service lines.

What Can You Do to Help?

The Water Department is compiling a service line inventory to meet the LCRR. Now, you can help improve our accuracy. You will be receiving a letter in the mail to complete a survey. Please take the following steps to check and report your line material. When you have completed the process, please submit your results by June 1, 2023 here in this online survey, or simply bring in or mail the survey back. 


Take the following steps to figure out if you have a lead, galvanized steel, copper, or plastic service line for the part of the service line you own. Lead is not safe for drinking and can get into water through lead water service lines.

When you have completed the steps, please submit your results using the following link: online survey. If you cannot complete the online survey, please fill out and return the paper survey either in person at Town Hall or mail to: 418 North Main Street, Middlebury, IN 46540. If you need assistance in completing this survey for any reason, please call Town Hall at 574-825-1499 and we would be happy to schedule someone to assist you!

What you need:

1. House key or coin
2. Strong refrigerator magnet

Steps to check your service line:

1. Find the water meter (typically found in the basement) and look at the service line that enters the water meter from the foundation. The image below is what your water meter may look like.
Water Pipe

2. Use the house key or coin to carefully scratch the pipe surface.

3. Compare the scratched area to the following descriptions:
  a. If it looks shiny and silver, the pipe is made of lead. A magnet will not stick to a lead pipe.
Lead Pipe
  b. If it is a dull gray color with no noticeable scratch on the surface, the pipe is galvanized steel. A magnet WILL stick to a galvanized steel pipe.
Galvanized Steel Pipe
 c. If it is the same color as a penny, the pipe is copper. A magnet will not stick to a copper pipe.
Copper Pipe
 d. If it is smooth and red, blue, white, or black, the pipe is plastic. A magnet will not stick to a plastic pipe.
Plastic Pipe
4. Report your service line material:



Flush your water tap: If your water has gone unused for more than six hours, let the water run for about five minutes before using it for drinking or cooking. Flushing means your water is coming directly from the main, where lead is rarely present, instead of coming from sitting in a pipe in contact with lead or lead parts.

Buy a lead filter: A National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) 53-certified water filtration system can be installed at the faucet, or be a filter pitcher that will remove lead. A water filter installed at the faucet will remove lead that may have entered the water from the service line, indoor plumbing, and plumbing fixtures. For more information about NSF filters and a list of certified filters, please visit the NSF Filter Website.