Mapping lead pipes by water utility

Visualizing Indiana’s data

The State of Indiana gathered information on lead service lines (LSLs)1 from its water utilities (also referred to as community water systems) through a voluntary survey. EDF acquired the responses to the survey and developed a map of LSLs in Indiana as a model. Compared to other states, Indiana has one of the most robust voluntary surveys with a good response rate.

The map below shows which of the state’s 781 water utilities reported on LSLs to the State of Indiana. For those that reported, the map also shows the likelihood of LSLs in their distribution systems as a percentage of service connections that contain lead. See the definitions for the terms used [PDF] »

Legend

Total number of service connections (size)2

1-1,000

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1,001-10,000

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10,001-50,000

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>50,001

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Service connections with lead service lines (shade)

0%

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0.01-5%

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5.01-25%

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>25%

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Did not report number of lead service lines

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Data [Excel]

Overview of Indiana data

Of the 781 active water utilities surveyed in Indiana, only about half (446 utilities) responded to the survey. However, those who responded represent 92% of the state’s 1.9 million service lines, as non-respondents were primarily smaller utilities. Of those who responded, 140 utilities did not provide any estimate of the number of LSLs – the field was simply left blank. 118 utilities reported one or more LSLs in their water system – accounting for 206,000 LSLs (or 11% of all service lines in the state). Of these 118 systems, less than a quarter based this number on recorded data. An additional 680,000 were reported as unknown material and, therefore, may be LSLs.

The public's role

Homeowners or renters can learn if they have an LSL by locating where the water line enters their house and following simple steps to identify the material – or by asking a plumber to do a visual inspection for them. Commercial or residential building managers can also be proactive by inspecting the service line entering their facility.

Footnotes
  1. Though the Lead and Copper Rule does not define a lead service line to include service lines that only have lead pipe in a gooseneck or pigtail, we consider them to be a lead service line. This approach is consistent with EPA's Advisory Committee's recommendations.
  2. Data abnormalities may be due to differences between SDWIS and reported state survey data. We used SDWIS data for the total number of service connections, which did not always correspond to the number of service lines reported by PWS on the state survey.