Customers are encouraged to check their pipes for lead!

It is nearly impossible to think about not having clean and reliable water for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing clothes, fighting fires, and so much more.

That is why OCWA – Central New York’s Water Authority – marked “Imagine a Day Without Water,” a national campaign held on October 19, 2023, to raise awareness about the role of water in society, as well as inspire curiosity about the people, infrastructure, and funding that help keep the water running in our communities.

OCWA officials also highlighted a significant initiative they are undertaking to identify the materials used to construct all customer water service lines throughout OCWA’s five-county service territory.  This effort is being made in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revised “Lead and Copper Rule,” which requires public water systems nationwide to create a service line inventory by October 16, 2024.

Lead in drinking water is rare, and OCWA takes multiple steps to prevent it.  However, lead can enter drinking water when home plumbing materials containing lead corrode.  Ownership of water service lines is shared between the property owner and OCWA.  Therefore, OCWA has launched a public awareness campaign to encourage customers to join in the mission of getting the lead out.

OCWA has been mailing notices to customers, posting fliers around the community, and attending events to raise awareness about the program.  They also have launched a new web page, where customers can access a service line inventorying map and view step-by-step instructions on how to test a property’s water pipes for the possible presence of lead.  The first step is to locate the water service line coming into your home and to identify a test area on the pipe.

To see and hear what a likely lead service line looks like, please watch the video clip below or visit www.ocwa.org/lead.

Customers are asked to submit their findings, along with a photo of the pipe, on our website ocwa.org OR by calling us at 315-455-7061 ext. 3139.

OCWA—Central New York’s Water Authority—was established by act of the New York State Legislature in 1951 and currently serves about 500,000 individuals in Onondaga, Oswego, Madison, Cayuga, and Oneida counties. OCWA is one of the 125 largest publicly owned drinking water suppliers in the United States.

Led by the U.S. Water Alliance’s Value of Water Campaign, over a thousand organizations across the country will join Imagine a Day Without Water. The Coalition is a group of water and wastewater providers, water-reliant businesses and policy organizations dedicated to educating and inspiring the nation about how water is essential and in need of investment.  Resources | Imagine a Day Without Water