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Program Overview

We ensure Toledo's water is safe, clean, and distributed efficiently to all customers.

The city has developed a multi-year, full lead service replacement program, which consists of a series of actions that Toledo is undertaking to reduce or eliminate lead in drinking water at the customer’s tap. This program aims to educate customers and residents that have lead lines.

The multi-year project will remove and replace all lead drinking water service lines. This is part of a national and state-wide initiative to protect residents from potential exposure to lead in their drinking water.

City vs. Customer

Service Lines

A service line delivers water from the water main to your house. It is split into two pieces at your property line.

1. City side, owned and maintained by the city.
2. Customer side, owned and maintained by the property owner.

Replacement Process

Notification Letter Sent

45 days prior to a lead line replacement, the city of Toledo will send a letter to the service address notifying the customer of their upcoming replacement.

City Side Replacement

Toledo Public utilities crews will complete a full replacement of the city side of the service line. City-side replacement will involve digging in the road and public right-of-way. The replacement may take up to 3 days, but disruption in water service will last less than 6 hours.

Working on the lead line can temporarily disturb lead particles that may affect your water quality. Once your replacement is finished, city workers will provide you with a free water filter to use as a precaution. You can also flush your pipes by letting cold run from all taps for 30 minutes.

More about city side replacements

Customer Side Replacement

The Division of Water Distribution will schedule the customer side replacement following the program schedule.

A city contractor will perform the customer side replacement. This will follow the same process as the city side replacement, but digging will take place on your property instead of the public right-of-way. The contractor will be responsible for the excavation and restoration of your property.

More about customer side replacements

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my water safe?

Yes. To keep our customers safe the department has been utilizing specific water chemistry to coat the pipes and services in our system, encasing any lead or harmful particles allowing for safe clean drinking water. Required annual lead testing has consistently shown our water is free of lead and safe to drink.

Why are you replacing lines?

Toledo Public Utilities has replaced city-owned lead service lines for 20 years through its water main replacement program and over the past few years, lead service lines have also been replaced as part of the roadway reconstruction program, when encountered during service repairs, and whenever private property owners replace their lead service lines.

Of some 130,000 total water service line connections in the Toledo water distribution system, approximately 30,000 city-owned lead lines remain in service. The number of customer-owned lead service lines is about 3,000 or 10%. The city of Toledo is not required by the Ohio EPA to replace lead service lines, our long-term objective is to eliminate all lead service lines from the Toledo utility system and continue to protect our water supply for generations to come.

How does Toledo supply water?

The city of Toledo supplies water to a population of approximately 500,000 people located in the city and surrounding areas including parts of Lucas, Wood, and Fulton Counties, and south Monroe County in Michigan. Consumers are supplied potable water through a large, complex system owned and operated by the city of Toledo. The system provides approximately 75 million gallons per day (MGD) of water.

The system is managed by the city of Toledo, Department of Public Utilities, Division of Water Treatment, under the authority of the Mayor and City Council with direction provided by the Toledo Regional Water Commission.

How much will this cost me?

There is no cost to the property owner for replacement. The project is being funded by grants, not through service fees or assessments.

Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), EPA Environmental Justice Grant, and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Ohio EPA Water Replacement Loan Program will be used for this program. Teams will work neighborhood by neighborhood over the next several years to complete this program.

More Information


Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water

EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agree that there is no known safe level of lead in a child's blood. Taking action to reduce these exposures can improve outcomes. Lead is harmful to health, especially for children.

About Lead

Lead is a metal that occurs naturally in the environment. In the past, lead was used in gasoline, paint, metals, bullets, and batteries. We now know that lead has many hazardous health effects, and so lead has been banned or significantly reduced in these products.

Community and utility efforts to replace lead service lines

Environmental Defense Fund has identified communities that have publicly set a goal of fully replacing all lead service lines (LSLs) in their jurisdiction.